Monkeypox: World Health Organisation declares global health emergency
WHO

The spread of the monkeypox virus predominantly among men who have sex with men has seen a swell in the wave of far-right homophobia.

Outbreaks of the virus have been recorded across the world and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently declared monkeypox a global health emergency.

With the majority of cases appearing among men who have sex with men, the far-right is using the virus as a prop with which to promote their narrative that the LGBTQ community are “groomers”.

The anti-LGTBQ slur is used by homophobes who wrongly equate queer people with paedophiles, according to the Daily Dot.

Some have also wrongly stated that monkeypox is sexually transmitted, when in fact, it can be passed via respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact, through contact with infectious scabs, rashes, and bodily fluids, or by touching clothing or items that have touched infected fluids or scabs.

Among the far-right, some prominent figures are weaponising their willful ignorance to further the harmful “groomer” narrative, especially since some children have tested positive for monkeypox.

Republican Congresswoman, Marjorie Taylor-Greene tweeted: “If Monkeypox is a sexually transmitted disease, why are kids getting it?”

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The bad faith implication of the tweet was clear and sadly Greene was not the only one to push the harmful and false narrative.

Another far-right conspiracist tweeted: “Pedophiles spread monkeypox to children.”

But many other people took to Twitter to correct the lies that are being spread and are causing potential harm to the LGBTQ+ community.

Former Ohio State Senator, Nina Turner, shared a screengrab of MTG’s tweet and explained: “This is the danger of calling monkeypox an STD and linking it to the gay community.

“It’s not true, but conservatives will use this as an excuse to commit violent acts against the LGBTQIA+ community.

“We must stand up for our LGBTQIA+ family and push back.”

LGBT organisation GLAAD published a factsheet that can be used by reporters and media outlets to help report on the monkeypox virus with caution and fact.

It recommends: “Reporting and messaging about any virus should focus on facts, not who people are.”

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)