GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis cites Media Matters data before House Oversight hearing

Ellis: Use of the term “groomer” as an anti-LGBTQ slur has increased over 1200 percent from 9 top accounts since Elon Musk's Twitter takeover

Video file

Citation From the December 14, 2022, hearing of the House Oversight Committee

CAROLYN MALONEY (HOUSE OVERSIGHT CHAIR, D-NY): The committee received a video submission from Mrs. Sarah Kate Ellis, the President and CEO of GLAAD, one of the nation's leading LGBTQI+ media advocacy organizations, explaining the proliferation of anti-LGBTQI+ extremism across our media landscape and its relationship to the kind of violence we observed at Club Q. I'd like to play this video now if we could.


SARAH KATE ELLIS (GLAAD CEO): Thank you chairwoman Maloney, and thank you leaders from Colorado Springs. GLAAD tracks and reports dangerous conditions for LGBTQ Americans, and I want to be very clear — we currently live in an unsafe America for LGBTQ people. The horrific attack at Club Q is yet one more avoidable symptom of a larger epidemic plaguing our nation: a culture of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and violence from politicians and political extremists.

Consider these facts that GLAAD tracked this year. Over 300 anti-LGBTQ state and local bills proposed. Bomb threats to 20 children's hospitals that offer medically safe healthcare to transgender youth. Nearly 150 attacks on LGBTQ events. And, a new GLAAD poll found 48 percent of LGBTQ people and 72 percent of transgender respondents fear for their safety in the current political environment.

Why is this happening? It starts with candidates and politicians who deliberately spread disinformation and anti-LGBTQ inflammatory political messaging. It continues with media. Fox News aired 170 anti-transgender segments in a three-week span. The New York Times is approaching transgender healthcare as a debate, as opposed to settled medicine according to every major medical association.

This rhetoric gets amplified on social media, where hate gets organized into action. Facebook too often refuses to act on the content that spreads lies. On Twitter, new Media Matters data shows the maliciously defamatory slur "groomer" increased over 1200 percent from nine accounts since Elon Musk took over. This behavior is all exacerbated when bad actors have easy access to assault weapons. There is a direct line from dangerous words to violent behavior for the LGBTQ community. We can stop the lies and violence only if we work together. We all deserve to be safe in America. Thank you.


MALONEY: Thank you.