‘Gays Against Groomers’ going after former Illinois activist

“Gays Against Groomers” (GAG) has taken aim at a former Champaign resident who dared to challenge their claims.

“Gays Against Groomers” (GAG) has taken aim at a former Champaign resident who dared to challenge their claims.

Noah, whose last name is being withheld out of safety concerns, had posted a TikTok video pushing back against a call by the group to go after The Trevor Project. In response, GAG went after him.

GAG has risen to prominence along with other anti-LGBTQ groups such as Moms for Liberty (MfL) within the past couple of years. And like MfL, GAG has been particularly focused on drag queens and transgender people’s access to affirming care. They claim to be against the “sexualization, indoctrination and medicalization of children.” According to the “About” page on their website, they claim that the LGBTQ rights movement has been “hijacked” by “radical activists” pushing an extreme agenda. Which they say include drag queen story hours and inclusive education. GAG also claims that the majority of gay people support them.

The Gays Against Groomers tweet that started everything. Twitter.

One of GAG’s latest targets is The Trevor Project. It was founded in 1998 when the creators of “Trevor,” a short film about a teenager struggling with being gay and considering suicide, found out there was no hotline for LGBTQ youth in crisis to call. Since then, they’ve grown into research in the mental health of LGBTQ youth and expanded the ways youth can reach out including phone, text and chat. They also established TrevorSpace, an online community for LGBTQ youth that is monitored to keep it age-appropriate and safe.

According to GAG, it’s a “pedophile’s paradise.” Similar claims have been made by the extremist right-wing newspaper Epoch Times and the mainstream New York Post.

Noah pushed back on this. That’s when GAG went after him.

“I was looking into the gays against groomers,” Noah said through Messenger. “They have been going after the Trevor project making false claims. I made videos about it. Then they showed up on my thread on twitter and was promoting to people that I am a pedophile.”

What followed was social media attacks against Noah, including YouTube, Twitter and TikTok. Many calling him a pedophile and making threats. They even said his sock hat had the colors of a “pedophile flag.” It doesn’t. The hat has two separate flags knitted into it: the trans Pride flag and the pansexual flag. A gallery is below. We’ve blacked out Noah’s social media names to prevent further attacks. (CW: Transphobia and threats of violence)

Noah, who is originally from Champaign and now lives near the Bay Area in California, is a founder of the Trans Radical Activist Network, which works to organize grassroots efforts against transphobia. The large number of retweets and DMs forced Noah to set all his social media to private. His biggest concern is for his child, who has already been outed in some of the videos coming after him.

“I blocked gays against groomers because they put that pic out there,” Noah said. “Not because of anything they said. I’ve been going online asking others to help because my life is in danger. I’ve also been blocking the MAGAs that have been RT me and attempting to follow me. My account is on private.”

GAG’s followers have already started work on doxxing Noah, linking his Twitter and TikTok accounts. The TRAN website has also been taken offline to prevent spam attacks.

All of this has built just since Saturday, Nov. 26. Noah was forced to batten down less than 24 hours after the first tweet.

For now, Noah and TRAN will be laying low to avoid being driven completely off social media. However, these tactics are common methods used against LGBTQ activists and organizations.

The 2022 ADL Online Hate and Harassment report found that 66% of LGBTQ users experienced harassment online, with 54% of LGBTQ users reporting severe harassment including sustained harassment, stalking, or doxxing. GLAAD found that 84% of LGBTQ adults agree there are not enough protections on social media to prevent discrimination, harassment, or disinformation. 40% of all LGBTQ adults, and 49% of transgender and nonbinary people, do not feel welcomed and safe on social media.

Noah is calling on other LGBTQ organizations to call out GAG.

“The GAG make claims that they speak for the majority of the community when they truly don’t,” he said.

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