Transgender Activists Strategize to Overcome GOP Wins With ‘Race-Class-Gender Narrative’

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Transgender activists plan to combat conservative messaging and sway Americans’ sentiment on gender issues by “weaving together” race, gender, and class in a “race-class-gender narrative,” according to a new report.

The “Transgender Youth and the Freedom to Be Ourselves” messaging guide comes as Democratic activists scramble to counter the efforts of Republicans and conservative groups who increasingly combat liberal ideology through messaging and legislation.  

Conservative scholars and activists warn The Daily Signal that although many Americans hold traditional or intuitive beliefs when it comes to these issues, liberal messaging packaged in a “race-class-gender narrative” may prove powerful and persuasive. 

“Recently,” warns the report, “[Republicans] have paired these attacks with fear-mongering about Critical Race Theory, mobilizing their base with a potent mix of racist and transphobic tropes.”  

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According to the American Civil Liberties Union, GOP lawmakers passed more than 100 pieces of legislation related to transgender issues in 2021. Many of these bills attempt to ban biological males from women’s sports, restrooms, or locker rooms, or prohibit minors from obtaining irreversible transgender surgeries.

The guide is a collaboration between the Transgender Law Center and two left-wing communications firms, Transgender Law Center spokeswoman Arielle Rebekah told The Daily Signal. The report was published in early December, she said, noting that Lake Research Partners guided the research portion, while ASO Communications and the Transgender Law Center partnered to create the content. 

The report proposes a “solution” to Republican wins; namely, a narrative that weaves gender into the highly successful race and class narrative “to tell a convincing story of how our opposition uses strategic racism and transphobia to harm us all.”

“Using a [race-class-gender narrative], we can mobilize our progressive base (particularly Black, AAPI, and Gen Z audiences), marginalize our opposition, and move persuadables across race,” the report says. 

“It’s clear to any careful observer that gender ideologues are trying to associate their cause with the popular and successful cause of civil rights for minorities,” Jay Richards, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, told The Daily Signal on Tuesday. 

The issues are nothing alike, Richards warned: 

In the mid-century, African Americans were truly marginalized. But gender ideologues in 2022 occupy the commanding heights of culture, from colleges to multinational corporations to the United Nations. 

And unlike the civil rights movement, which grounded itself in the natural equality of human beings (male, female, black, brown, or white), gender ideology seeks to overturn the real biological differences between the sexes, and replace it with a subjective, and ever-changing, notion of gender identity. 

What’s a ‘Race-Class-Gender Narrative’? 

A race-class-gender narrative would weave together “shared values, experiences, and demands across races and genders,” contextualizing “trans issues within the broader fight for racial, gender, and economic justice.” 

This race-class narrative was developed by activists beginning in 2017 and has been “empirically tested using multiple methodologies across geographies and issues,” according to a memo from ASO Communications

The race-class narrative encourages overt discussions about race and has been successfully used to elect both progressives and Democrats on multiple occasions, according to the memo, which specifically cites the 2018 Minnesota midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election (specifically, Arizona and Georgia). 

The memo notes not only that the race-class narrative “consistently outperforms” other competing left-wing narratives, but also that emphasizing affirmative messaging about race “strengthens our ability to mobilize our base and persuade the middle and allows us to challenge our opposition’s worldview.”

Inserting gender into the race-class narrative could be a game-changer, the report suggests. 

The new report laments that “colorblind messaging dominates LGBT advocacy,” noting that “where race is mentioned, it is usually to name disparities—a simple acknowledgment of the increased violence and discrimination trans people of color face.”

LGBTQ policy talking points are often crafted to “calm audiences’ discomfort with transgender people,” the report continues, accusing conservatives of exploiting “ignorance” on transgender issues to “advance anti-trans attacks, further splinter and impugn the left, and sabotage progressives on a broad range of issues.”

To combat Republican wins, the report suggests, activists and advocates should begin using messaging that opens with a shared value (such as freedom, dignity, or respect) and explicitly evokes race, gender, and class. 

The report urges adherents to both name and call out “the villains who violate our values,” to “expose their motivation of getting back into or holding onto power,” and to “position them as a barrier to what our families need.” 

That includes pointing out how the so-called villains “exploit divisions across races,” according to the report.

The Transgender Law Center did not immediately explain to The Daily Signal which figures or organizations might be categorized as “villains,” though another Transgender Law Center messaging guide specifically mentions both Alliance Defending Freedom and The Heritage Foundation and cites the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Map. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Should Conservatives Be Worried? 

In a late December piece in The American Conservative, commentator Rod Dreher warned that the guide exposes “two very powerful arguments in contemporary American life.” The first, according to Dreher, is “equality for all self-identified minorities” and the second is “the value of ‘authenticity.’”

If the transgender movement can harness those arguments, Dreher writes, “they win.” 

“We need to do a far better job of explaining why biology matters,” Dreher wrote.We need to explain, over and over, why we cannot simply refute biological truth by force of will.”

He continued:

The other day I was talking with a lawyer friend, who was explaining how the gender binary is embedded throughout the law, in ways that most people never think about. He was saying that the trans movement is going to radically affect many legal structures—and nobody talks about it.

We have to start talking about it in detail. We have to push through the subjective ‘we just want to live and let live’ appeal that the pro-trans report suggests for its side. There is no such thing as ‘live and let live’ when to give trans people what they want, the entire corpus of the law has to be rewritten, based on a biological fallacy—something that most people understand is a biological fallacy!

Most Americans know that it's unfair for biological males to compete against female athletes, Ethics and Public Policy Center scholar Mary Rice Hasson told The Daily Signal. They also intuitively understand it is “ludicrous to believe that whether a person is male or female is determined by the person's thoughts or feelings, rather than biological sex,” she said.

Polling conducted by The Heritage Foundation and published last February found that a majority of Americans oppose allowing students to compete on sports teams (58%) or to use showers or locker rooms (53%) that do not align with their biological sex. The survey also found that 57% of Americans are against allowing minors to receive gender-transition surgery, puberty blockers, or cross-sex hormones.

But while policy and public opinion wins are real and significant, Hasson emphasized, those wins are relatively insignificant compared with the recent court victories of President Joe Biden’s administration. The president has repeatedly pushed for policies such as the Equality Act, which would permit biological males to inhabit formerly exclusively female spaces, such as locker rooms, restrooms, sports, or even prisons. 

The Biden administration has also reversed a policy from President Donald Trump's administration that defined “sex” as the gender assigned at birth, instituting a transgender mandate requiring doctors to perform transgender surgeries in violation of their religious beliefs or medical judgment.

“It's important to note that the trans agenda is still ‘winning’ in courts and under the Biden administration's regulatory regime,” Hasson said, adding:

Trans activists won't settle for legal wins and ‘tolerance’ from the public. They crave external validation of their desired/chosen/imagined ‘identities,’ regardless of reality. They will be relentless in pursuing their policy goals—and trying to compel Americans to accept gender ideology.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center scholar urged conservatives to pay attention to the “Transgender Youth and the Freedom to Be Ourselves” strategy, noting that the race-class-gender narrative messaging is more effective “when the message leads with shared values and ideals.” 

“The trans guide also helpfully admits that, once they have people's attention, the left will pivot quickly from ‘shared values’ to demonizing conservatives, naming them as ‘villains’ and mischaracterizing conservative positions in order to advance their radical agenda,” Hasson explained, adding, “That's something we can expose and resist.”

“But we need to have a better message that shows people that the things they really value—family, fairness, freedom—are jeopardized by the trans agenda, but secured by conservative policies,” she said. 

Embracing and Replacing 

The race-class-gender narrative guide offers a variety of terms to help shift conversation on biological males in women’s sports or transgender surgeries for children. 

For example, instead of saying “gender,” the guide suggests, say “our genders” or “genders” since “pluralizing genders enables greater agreement with our worldview and helps activate more expansive attitudes towards our genders and transgender people.” 

The guide also encourages activists to avoid saying “transphobes” or “racists” and instead describe opponents using phrases such as “ … who want to pick and choose who counts” in order to “expose the motivations” behind the actions of “villains.” 

The groups behind this guide have also offered guidance on messaging to journalists—guidance almost identical to activist messaging. 

Like the National Abortion Rights Action League and GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), the Transgender Law Center urges journalists to abide by its rules when covering “those most impacted by antitrans medical [or athletic] bans—transgender youth.” 

The guides urge journalists to “reframe misinformed narratives” about transgender surgeries for minors or about biological men in women’s sports, to write about “why these bans are harmful,” and to “draw attention to” and investigate “anti-LGBTQ groups.” 

“The depth of far-right religious organizational involvement in the issue of medical care bans; for example, The Heritage Foundation’s influential convening of a 2019 panel advocating against affirming the gender identities of transgender youth,” cites one of the Transgender Law Center guides on “anti-trans medical bans.” 

“Local and state groups pushing a hateful, anti-trans agenda, including anti-LGBTQ churches, legislative caucuses, committees, and subgroups, and ‘concerned’ parents’ groups.” 

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‘Reframe Misinformed Narratives'

These types of left-wing messaging guides for journalists appear to already be successful.

Reporting over the past year shows that media framing of bills related to biological males in women’s sports or transgender surgeries for minors takes an activist approach, rather than reporting the bills straightforwardly. 

Major outlets such as CNN, Yahoo News, or NBC have used vague phrases such as “gender-affirming medical care” or “trans-affirming medical care” to refer to irreversible transgender surgeries, even when discussing minors. 

Media outlets also frequently use the phrases “anti-trans bills” or “anti-LGBTQ bills” to refer to legislation that prohibits biological males from participating in women’s sports or using women’s restrooms. 

GLAAD has boasted of promoting “accurate, inclusive stories and messages in media outlets that increase and enhance representation of LGBTQ people,” noting that The Associated Press, Reuters, and The New York Times each have specific style requirements for LGBTQ issues. 

Reuters spokesman Deepal Patadia told The Daily Signal on Tuesday that the news agency “produces an independent style guide in accordance with our Trust Principles, which reflects the judgment of senior editors, journalists in our newsroom, and other interested parties.” 

“Our guide is regularly updated to reflect changing styles and terminology, as circumstances warrant,” Patadia said. 

The New York Times Company’s vice president of communications, Danielle Rhoades Ha, similarly told The Daily Signal that the company’s standards desk oversees The New York Times' Style Guide, “which ensures the consistent stylization of words and phrases so that the language used in The Times is clear to our readers.” 

“Guidance may be updated after careful consideration of common usage and clarity,” Ha said. 

The Associated Press did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment. 

This use of language is “an organized and deliberate effort,” American Principles Project President Terry Schilling told the Daily Caller News Foundation in June. 

“Woke activists need to use euphemisms to describe the horrible policies they support because they are so incredibly unpopular with the American people,” said Schilling, whose organization fights to protect American families. 

Schilling warned that the media are “all too willing to go along with the ruse because the newsrooms are full of woke activists.”

The American Principles Project president expressed optimism to The Daily Signal on Monday about the messaging memo, saying that “their message testing shows that even their best messages still lose, just not as bad as before.”

“But even more importantly,” Schilling added, “rather than expand on their arguments that men can have babies, and males can become female, the transgender movement is retreating and trying to use race and feminism for cover. Yes, that’s right. They are retreating.” 

The transgender movement was always destined for failure in the long term, because it is based on a complete fabrication that is wreaking havoc on gender-confused people.

Gender clinics, surgeons, and Big Pharma have been making a lot of money off of the pain and suffering of gender-dysphoric Americans, and while the profits may be good for a short time, the jig will be up eventually, and justice will be served.

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