Right wing media is intentionally conflating the term “grooming” with what they used to absurdly call “the gay agenda.” The latter term was the paranoid and fantastical notion that LGBTQ people were investing their time in some sort of magical plan for world domination by converting people, young and old alike, into “the gays.” The term “grooming,” on the other hand, refers to a predatory adult’s long-term project of gaining the trust of a child so that they may abuse them. Having grown up in the Catholic Church, I am, unfortunately, rather familiar with the practice — though I was fortunate to (barely) escape physical sexual abuse at the hands of a predatory priest.
Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and similar sociopathic neo-Father Coughlins are now engaging in a two-part phantom menace propaganda campaign:
1) They are taking their original cynical hallucination which alleged that LGBTQ people’s not living in misery in the closet is the equivalent of a gay master plan for world domination and…
2) … allege that it represents not just the “gay agenda” of world domination through mass conversion to “gayness,” but rather, a process of “grooming.” These blithely evil assholes do not define grooming in this context. They are merely inserting the word into their idiotic rhetoric to suggest, to insinuate and to confuse.
And this, as political philosopher Vlad Vexler suggests, is the mechanism of 21st century propaganda: The idea is not necessarily to convince people of an unreality, but to confuse and cause to decay our current fact–based understanding of reality. So, out of the closet = “gay agenda” = “grooming.” Fox News and other propaganda institutions seek to trouble the mind of the American public and to break it — or, as neofascist Steve Bannon put it, they endeavor to “flood the zone with shit.”