Republican presidential Project 2025 plans to define trans people as ‘pornographic’

Donald Trump getting out of a vehicle.

A Republican think tank’s proposal for LGBTQ+ rights if the GOP were to win the 2024 presidential election includes a section on how the next president could essentially erase trans people from public life.

An excerpt from a 920-page blueprint on an electoral strategy built from far-right rhetoric that would define trans people’s existence as “pornography”, was shared by Media Matters journalist Ari Drennen on Thursday (7 September).

‘Project 2025’, or the Presidential Transition Project was created by The Heritage Foundation – a conservative think tank founded during the Nixon presidency – as a way to cement conservative values into the GOP.

“The actions of liberal politicians in Washington have created a desperate need and unique opportunity for conservatives to start undoing the damage the Left has wrought,” the project’s ‘about’ section reads.

Sections from its 180-day playbook – a list of actions taken in the first 180 days of Republican leadership – include completely stripping discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people from the law.

Drennen noted in her tweet that the Heritage Foundation are not a fringe political think-tank, saying: “These are not cranks, this is the Republican policy establishment.”

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“They’ve put it quite vividly – declare trans content porn, imprison those who make it, put teachers who discuss it on the sex offender registry, and force companies that host it to close.”

Drennen clarified in a separate tweet that the blueprint is not “actually about trans porn” but conflates “propagation of transgender ideology,” with pornography.

The attempt to conflate LGBTQ+ subjects with adult content is nothing new to Republicans and is the foundation of conspiratorial slurs such as “groomer” or “paedophile.”

GOP legislatures have already used the conflation to ban drag performances in several states across the US. at least 45 bills banning family-friendly drag or public LGBTQ+ expression have been filed in the US, seven of which have passed.

Project 2025 doesn’t just target LGBTQ+ rights, however. A number of provisions include anti-immigration policies, which it claims are to “defend our nation’s sovereignty,” and anti-abortion policies.

Project director and former Trump administration official, Paul Dans, told the Associated Press in August that the handbook is intended as a “clarion call” for conservatives.

“We need to flood the zone with conservatives,” Dans said. “People need to lay down their tools, and step aside from their professional life and say, ‘This is my lifetime to serve.'”

Looking beyond even the most extreme anti-LGBTQ+ promises in the handbook, some aren’t sure even a handful of these policy promises could be kept.

Philip Wallach, American Enterprise Institute senior member, said there is a certain element of “fantasising” about the president’s ability to even enact several of these policies.

“Some of these visions, they do start to just bleed into some kind of authoritarian fantasies where the president won the election, so he’s in charge, so everyone has to do what he says.

“That’s just not the system of government we live under,” Wallach said.