Colorado representative Lauren Boebert has a well-documented history of demonizing the LGBTQ+ community—but in the wake of Saturday’s mass shooting at Colorado LGBTQ+ nightclub Club Q, she’d prefer that people forget about everything she’s ever said and definitely not link her hateful rhetoric to the uptick in violence against the community.

On Tuesday, while speaking to Ross Kaminsky, a radio host at Colorado’s KOA station, Boebert called it “disgusting” to blame her for what happened over the weekend or accurately note the various ways she’s vilified LGBTQ+ people. “That is completely false,” she said, falsely. “I have never had bad rhetoric towards anyone and their personal preferences as an adult.” Then, because she’s a bigot—and not a very smart one at that—she immediately added: “What I’ve criticized is the sexualization of our children. And I’ve criticized men dressing up as caricatures of women.” While most rationale people would agree that children should not be sexualized, Boebert, like many on the right, equates allowing gender-affirming medical care for trans youth with child “grooming.” She also believes that drag queens pose a threat to children just by simply existing, and we know this because she’s previously said as much:

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On the subject of Drag Queen Story Hour events like the one above—during which a drag queen literally just reads stories to kids—Boebert bizarrely suggested that they operate like strip clubs, telling KOA, “We don’t need six-year-old children putting dollar bills in the thongs of grown men shaking and twerking in front of children…That is child abuse.” She added that she would continue to speak out against the “grooming” of children, a term that has been co-opted by the right to describe behavior by LGBTQ+ people they don’t like, rather than the way child molesters lure their victims.

In addition to previously smearing the LGBTQ+ community online, Boebert has attacked legislation like the Equality Act, which protects transgender youth. Last year, on the House floor, she urged her colleagues to vote against the measure, saying, “Where is the equity in this legislation for the young girls across America who will have to look behind their backs as they change in school locker rooms, just to make sure there isn’t a confused man trying to catch a peek?” On Sunday, after Boebert tweeted that the victims of the Club Q shooting were in her “prayers,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded: “@laurenboebert you have played a major role in elevating anti-LGBT+ hate rhetoric and anti-trans lies while spending your time in Congress blocking even the most common sense gun safety laws. You don’t get to ‘thoughts and prayers’ your way out of this. Look inward and change.”

In related news from the far right, Tucker Carlson followed up his Monday night show—in which he claimed that we have no idea what motivated the Club Q shooter—with a guest who matter-of-factly stated that the massacre occurred because of gender-affirming care, adding that such tragedies would likely continue to happen until the practice was stopped.

Bess Levin

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