The Groomer ‘Panic’ Is a Hill Worth Dying On

Joe Biden commemorated Pride Month by promising to take the fight for equality to the next level. Gay marriage was yesterday’s battle. The issue of the day is making sure that children with gender dysphoria—or “trans youth,” as Biden called them—have uninhibited access to “gender-affirming care.” By this, Biden meant often irreversible medical interventions such as puberty blockers and sexual reassignment surgery. 

Further, he promised to shield these kids from a “hateful” right-wing backlash and to crack down on  supposedly “discredited” conversion therapy that would encourage them to accept their natural selves. According to Biden, who is Catholic, “trans youth” are “made in the image of God” and deserve the unswerving support of the federal government in their quest for autonomy. 

Those who voted for Biden expecting a “moderate” agenda may have been surprised by these radical remarks. But Biden’s position has entered the Democratic Party mainstream. While the Left denounces the term “groomer” as a reactionary slander, it’s hard to deny at this point that the sexual “liberation” of children is the “Pride” movement’s new focus.

What other conclusion can we draw from the recent “Drag Your Kids to Pride” event in Dallas, where children handed dollar bills to men dancing sexually in front of a neon sign that read, “It’s not going to lick itself?” Progressives have defended this obscenity, calling the backlash overblown. It’s a pattern we have seen a lot lately. The Left blew a gasket when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an unobjectionable bill, incongruously labeled by them the “Don’t Say Gay” law, that simply bans teachers from talking about sex to kindergarteners.

Who could have imagined 10, even five years ago, that the country would be caught up in a “debate” about whether it is proper to sexualize 5-year-olds? Well, some did imagine it but they were mocked and dismissed as alarmists and bigots. Now, just seven years after gay marriage became the law of the land, they have been vindicated.

We were told that “love is love.” We were asked to tolerate what “consenting adults” do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, and assured that the change would stop there. We are now paying the price for our goodwill. 

“Pride” has become a state ideology, with its own liturgy and an entire month of near-compulsory observance. This creed must be affirmed and celebrated in every aspect of society, from school to the workplace to church. The governor of New York has ordered a “human rights” investigation into a local library on Long Island that offended the state ideology by removing Pride-themed books from its children’s section. Biden is withholding money for school lunches to enforce the dogma. 

We should beware not to concede an undeserved intellectual weight to this agenda, but it has a twisted logic, the consequences of which call for public attention. The basic idea behind this movement is that children are autonomous beings and should be treated as such. The notion that children are autonomous is just the thing that a pedophile might want to see normalized. If children are autonomous, if they are “free” to “transition” without parental consent, then we don’t have to travel very far before the question arises whether a child can consent to having sex with adults. 

Since children are not, in fact, autonomous beings, once separated from the family they naturally will gravitate to some other authority for guidance and protection: the state. With the “trans youth” craze, a predatory state sees a new frontier in its generations-long effort to expand itself by smashing family bonds and grafting the broken human beings left behind to itself. The greater the number of confused, isolated, dysfunctional people who will depend on the state for support and “gender-affirming care,” the better for the state.

The “Pride” state justifies its grooming as a mission to “liberate” children to become their “true selves,” but what we are really witnessing is not the spontaneous awakening of repressed “identities” but an exploitative and insidious form of social contagion. Impressionable, otherwise normal and healthy kids are being purposely alienated from their families, manipulated, indoctrinated, and molded, mind and body, in a certain direction by ideologues with an agenda. These ideologues won’t allow kids to grow up to be happy, normal adults. That is called oppressive, and these people seek to disrupt that process.

In practice, this means exposing children as early and as often as possible to devious, inappropriate teachings about sex and “gender identity.” There have been reports of children being coached by teachers to “transition” without the knowledge or consent of their parents. 

If that is not grooming, the word has no meaning. 

But the Biden-groomer state has no qualms, either, about asserting public ownership over kids and ordering their parents to “affirm” their dysphoria. Families have no place disabusing their kids of the gender confusion planted in their heads by ideologically-driven teachers, politicians, and mass media. That’s “Pride.”

We are at the bottom, or close to it, anyway, of the “slippery slope” that progressives told us did not exist. Just how far have we traveled? Apologists for the groomer phenomenon such as Andrew Sullivan, an instrumental figure in the gay marriage revolution, are clutching pearls over a distinction between drag performances for kids which are and are not sexual. If we allow these kinds of arbitrary distractions to control public dialogue, then we will be at a loss to stop the mainstreaming of pedophilia in its tracks.

Some moral “panics,” like a body’s immune response to disease, are a sign of vitality. The groomer “panic” is one of them. There can be no reasoned argument with those seeking to exploit and indoctrinate children. We need more laws like the “Don’t Say Gay” law, and corporations that try to sexualize kids, like Disney, should be punished by any legal means possible. 

For too long, mainstream society has been walking on eggshells around an aggrieved, pathological minority that has been empowered to dictate social norms for ordinary people. This has led to such absurdities as men competing in women’s sports, and pressure on the remainder of the population to adopt tortured, dehumanizing language like “pregnant people” or frivolous ”pronouns.” 

Up to a point, we could call this trend unreasonable, bothersome, or unfair. Now, it is a danger to the innocence and well-being of a generation. It’s time for those in the mainstream, those with an actual stake in the future, to assert their place in society and stop appeasing an extreme fringe.

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About Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a Mt. Vernon fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a staff writer and weekly columnist at the Conservative Institute. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter @matt_boose. ‏

Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

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