New Democracy Maps

Talking About Anti-LGBTQ School Bills & False 'Groomer' Attacks

The Bottom Line

Far-right politicians have introduced bills in many states intended to ban school discussions of LGBTQ people and issues, as well as censor teaching, curriculum, and books involving race, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity, among other topics. In addition, these politicians are increasingly using “groomer” as a slur to falsely smear those who oppose their efforts at curriculum censorship and their agenda to create a hostile school climate for LGBTQ students.

This guide provides messaging to address these harmful proposals and counter the far right’s growing cultural attacks on LGBTQ people and those who support them.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. June 2022. "Talking About Anti-LGBTQ School Bills & False ‘Groomer’ Attacks." MAP's Talking About LGBTQ Issues Series.



  • Equality Federation
  • Freedom for All Americans

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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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