As the official “Home of the Truth-O-Meter and independent fact-checking,” it’s incumbent upon PolitiFact to comb through the mess that is modern American political discourse and tease out the truth.

Unfortunately for PolitiFact, “independent fact-checking” tends to look a lot more like shameless partisan narrative pushing, and the Truth-O-Meter is constantly breaking down. That’s why we’d be lying if we told you we were shocked to see their little fact-check on the term “grooming” being used to describe teachers using their positions of authority to subject young kids to  the very adult topics of gender identity and sexuality.

Even if the teacher pushing children to discuss their gender identity and sexuality never lays a hand on a child, they’re still preying on children mentally and emotionally. And they’re doing so without parental consent. That’s abuse. Sorry, but it just is.

It can absolutely change the way people develop. It can confuse kids, to say the least. And we’ve heard numerous cases of parents finding out that their kids have been given new gender identities at school, without the parents’ knowledge.


Misusing the term “grooming” revives this old, harmful falsehood, experts said. But in the wake of Florida’s law, Pushaw and others have used the term to imply that people in the LGBTQ community — or even just those who discuss LGBTQ topics — are deliberately preying on children by discussing sexual orientation and gender identity. The suggestion is that these concepts force students to question their gender and sexual orientation, even if they otherwise wouldn’t have.

A first grader being told that gender is fluid and that having male parts doesn’t preclude you from being female may very well question their gender and sexual orientation when they otherwise wouldn’t have. Because they’re confused. It’s being suggested to them that their innate sense of who they are is wrong. And in their desire to please their teachers, they may very well go along with something that they’re incapable of understanding.

We don’t have the numbers on us, but we’re pretty sure that your average five-year-old kid isn’t worried about getting kicked out of the house for being trans. Your average five-year-old kid doesn’t even know what “trans” is. And that’s OK.

OK, and? Any adult — straight, gay, bi, cis, trans, nonbinary, trinary, what have you — discussing sexuality issues with other people’s young children is acting inappropriately.

An environment that is more accepting of graphic discussions of gender and sexuality with children is, by its nature, more conducive to abuse.

We’re not trying to argue that sexual predators of children are overwhelmingly LGBTQ, because that’s not true. But PolitiFact — and many other critics of the Parental Rights in Education law — are deliberately trying to frame it as if we are in order to paint us as homophobic, transphobic, queer-phobic bigots. The reality is that we just don’t think teachers should be discussing sexuality with little kids.

Every level.

You literally had one job, PolitiFact. One job. And you failed. Miserably.

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