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In the Colorado Springs shooting, extremism experts saw a long-standing pattern

People watching extremism in America knew an attack like Club Q was imminent.

Experts who monitor the far right have watched for months as public aggression against the LGBTQ community in general, and the transgender population in particular, has escalated.

Drag shows across the country have, for months, been targeted by far-right extremists, including Proud Boys and white supremacists. Protests and violence at LGBTQ events have been on the rise for at least two years.

In these street protests, the extremists have been joined by mainstream American conservatives – fueled, experts say, by right-wing media. The target of their outrage: previously obscure events ranging from drag shows to children’s book readings. An industry analysis concludes that the conservative media has become “obsessed” with drag shows in particular.

Experts like Tucker Carlson have spent hours confusing, then denigrating, drag shows and transgender people. Articles on Fox News lament the “subversive sexualization” of children via drag shows and claim that their aim is to create a “sexual connection between adult and child”.

USA Today

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