‘Manufacturing Hysteria’: Activist Who Weaponized CRT Tells Conservatives to Make Drag Queens ‘More Lurid’

by | Jun 23, 2022 | GayRVA

Christopher Rufo, the far right activist who intentionally turned a college-level school of thought to examine social structures for systemic racism into a fear-mongering right-wing nationwide panic, is now focusing his attacks on LGBTQ people, by effectively weaponizing transgender identity.

Rufo, a senior fellow at the right-wing Manhattan Institute, is the man behind the right’s false panic and fury over CRT, Critical Race Theory. He’s bragged he wants to “have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory,’” and “put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category.”

Now he’s applying that model to attack the LGBTQ community – especially transgender people and drag queens.

Rufo wants the right to turn a commonly used phrase, “drag queen,” one that many people both gay and straight use to refer to themselves, into something “more lurid” and sexual.

“Conservatives should start using the phrase ‘trans stripper’ in lieu of ‘drag queen,’” Rufo said openly Friday on Twitter, despite drag queens not generally being transgender. “It has a more lurid set of connotations and shifts the debate to sexualization.”

He thinks the 1.6 million people across America who identify as transgender should be victims of his weaponization of their very being.

Rufo knows what he’s doing is twisting language into an attack, and admits that when he uses the word “trans” people think “transgender,” but he outright states: “we can say that ‘trans’ is a stand-in for ‘transvestite,’” which is a word not commonly used in decades.

And then he dares the majority of Americans who do not have an issue with transgender people to “engage in language games,” which is exactly what he is doing.

He even gives away his secret formula, while claiming the left is “very good” at this:

“The trick is to shift the language in a way that is factually accurate and has a plausible claim to neutrality, but attaches a new set of connotations to the concept that shifts the debate in your favor.”

Yale professor Jason Stanley, author of the books “How Propaganda Works” and “How Fascism Works”:

Pushback has been quick. Some are mocking Rufo and others making stronger criticisms, with a frequent theme that seems to be accusing him of telling people to lie.

Written by David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement. Image via NCRM.

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.



more in gayrva

Let’s Talk Vegan With Kasie Hull Of Tiny Vegan!

Hello everyone! Today we speak with Kasie Hull, the owner of Tiny Vegan, a Richmond food truck that specializes in vegan dishes. She shares her motivation for starting the business, the challenges of creating vegan versions of classic comfort foods, and her advice for...

Miles To Go Before I Sleep: The Musical Life of Zach Benson

Music has been a crucial element of Zach Benson’s life ever since he was a child, but he’s come a long way from his early days playing drums in middle-school cover bands. These days, the Virginia native and Richmond resident is a prolific indie-pop musician with a...

Big Freedia Got Booties Poppin’ At PrideFest

Marilyn: One of the great things about Virginia PrideFest is that it's the kind of all-consuming event you can attend and direct your focus in any of several directions. Regardless of what you focus on, you're still sure to have a great time. Just as I had a great...

Pin It on Pinterest