Taraji P. Henson called out Republicans' Project 2025 — what is it & should queer folks be scared?

taraji p. henson project 2025; New York, NY, USA June 25 Marchers at the Gay Pride Parade in New York, New York call for equality and an end to the hatred and violence suffered by the LBGT community.
taraji p. henson project 2025; New York, NY, USA June 25 Marchers at the Gay Pride Parade in New York, New York call for equality and an end to the hatred and violence suffered by the LBGT community.

Suddenly it seems like you can’t turn anywhere without hearing someone talk about “Project 2025."

Part of the interest comes in thanks to the incredible Taraji P. Henson, who took 30 seconds of time during the BET Awards on Sunday, June 30, to tell people it’s “time for us to play chess, not checkers” when it came to making decisions that will affect us all.

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Henson telling the masses to look it up paid off in droves .As of this writing, the uptick in searches on Google Trends is so abundant they can’t even keep up with the amount of inquiries over the last 24 hours. The final lines of the searches are just dots leading up to over 100, with “values for this point” having “partial (incomplete) data."

project 2025 google trend results
project 2025 google trend results

Google Trends

Although it’s great that people are finally paying attention to Project 2025, you may be here because you’re trying to figure out just what, exactly, that is and just why, exactly, the entire world needs to care.

If you’re BIPOC or LGBTQIA+, or care about Democracy at all, you have extra reason to listen up.

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Keep reading to find out more about Project 2025 and just how dangerous it will be if Republicans win the 2024 election.

What is Project 2025?

Project 2025, also known as the Presidential Transition Project, design with United states flag and text " project 2025". and also presidential election 2024 campaign.
Project 2025, also known as the Presidential Transition Project, design with United states flag and text " project 2025". and also presidential election 2024 campaign.

khan-art/Shutterstock

Project 2025 is a manifesto written in 2023 that consists of a 900-page — I repeat, a nine-hundred-page — document entitled “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise” that details everything the Republicans would do if they regain control in November.

Mind you, this is not meant specifically for Donald Trump, although he’s the current face of the Republican party. This is meant for any Republican leader who’s taking over, and it effectively eliminates every ounce of progress we’ve made since the Constitution was signed in 1776.

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Project 2025 is a far-right manifesto that would destroy the federal government as we know it and disrupt the lives of every person in America. It would enable Trump & Republicans to enact widespread, wholesale policy violence, and it must be rejected.

In case this doesn’t land with you just yet, this is not a drill.

They would eliminate the entire Department of Education.

The Department of Justice already has all of their targets lined up.

They would not only ban books, but they would also ban certain words from being used that they would delete from “every federal rule, agency regulation, contract, grant, and piece of legislation that exists." Some of those words include diversity, gender, reproductive health, and abortion.

And this is barely a sampling of what they would do if they could.

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How might Project 2025 impact LGBTQIA+ individuals?

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 19: Trans couple Matthew and Miguel kissing each other during a protest in front of Trump Tower on November 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.
TORONTO - NOVEMBER 19: Trans couple Matthew and Miguel kissing each other during a protest in front of Trump Tower on November 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.

arindambanerjee/Shutterstock

In the manifesto, the “LGBT” acronym makes twelve appearances (and only six of them include the “Q”). In its first mention, Kiron K. Skinner says the U.S. “should focus on core security, economic, and human rights,” but that “divisive symbols such as the rainbow flag or the Black Lives Matter flag have no place next to the Stars and Stripes at our embassies.

The third mention called the people who support the queer agenda bullies. The fourth that “the next secretary should also reverse the Biden Administration’s focus on ‘LGBTQ+ equity,’ subsidizing single-motherhood, disincentivizing work, and penalizing marriage,” and suggests that each of these policies should be replaced with those that encourage “marriage, work, motherhood, fatherhood, and nuclear families.” This is repeated later as the third goal for the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Project 2025 couldn’t make its anti-LGBTQ+ agenda any more clear,” Caroline Ciccone, President of Accountable.US, told The Advocate. “With far-right extremists at the helm, the project is a power grab by conservatives attempting to turn back the clock on hard-fought progress and fundamental rights. Project 2025 doesn’t just pose an existential threat to our democracy but seriously threatens the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ communities across the country.”

Who's responsible for creating this manifesto?

Washington, DC, USA- January 13, 2020: Heritage Foundation sign on the building in Washington, D.C. Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution.
Washington, DC, USA- January 13, 2020: Heritage Foundation sign on the building in Washington, D.C. Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution.

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock

The uber conservative Heritage Foundation is at fault for all of this. Former Trump administration official Paul Dans is the project director, but he’s far from the only person we have to fear if this all comes to fruition.

Other people who pose threats in this regard include Roger Severino, the famously anti-LGBTQ+ official from the Department of Human Services, as well as Stephen Miller, who served as a senior advisor during Trump’s presidency. If you don't remember who Miller is, some of his greatest hits while working in the White House included: the travel ban, the wall, and the child separation policy at the border.

What else does Project 2025 have planned?

February 24, 2023, Boise, Idaho, protect transgender youth rally. People holding flags and signs in support of transgender youth being able to receive gender, affirming care.
February 24, 2023, Boise, Idaho, protect transgender youth rally. People holding flags and signs in support of transgender youth being able to receive gender, affirming care.

Venture Out Media/Shutterstock

If all of this isn’t scary enough as it is, it’s also just a small scratch at the surface of what the Republicans have planned. It may be 900 pages of utter inhumanity, but it’s still well crafted and has every ounce of fear-mongering practices written all over it.

Should the Republicans win in November, the next president intends to essentially ignore the 2020 Supreme Court decision regarding Bostock v. Clayton County, wherein the court agreed that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also includes discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity.

Kevin D. Roberts, one of the writers in the manifesto, also says “children suffer the toxic normalization of transgenderism with drag queens and pornography invading their school libraries.” This has also led to a call to reverse policies that allow transgender people to serve in the military, as well as the removal of any gender-affirming care.

What else might happen if Donald Trump gets elected again?

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2018: President Donald Trump gestures to emphasize an issue at a press conference held at the Lotte Palace Hotel in the Villard Room.
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26, 2018: President Donald Trump gestures to emphasize an issue at a press conference held at the Lotte Palace Hotel in the Villard Room.

Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock

A lot of people have put a lot of faith in the hopes that Donald Trump's felony convictions would impede him from running again and have assumed those would "take care of the problem."

Well, those who believe that will be heartbroken to find out that the Supreme Court declared on July 1 that former presidents have immunity for their official actions, which renders the entire case against him null and void. So, yes, you can be charged with nearly 100 felonies and convicted of almost a third of them, but you can still run the country with no questions asked (but don't even think about getting a job.)

What's scarier than this is who Trump will replace if he gets elected again. In October 2020, right before the most recent election, the Republicans released their Schedule F executive order, with "Schedule F" being a new employment category the order created. If re-elected, Trump will aim to remove anybody who doesn't blatantly support him from their federal jobs and replace them with somebody who does.

Since Trump wasn't re-elected in 2020, it's unclear exactly who he'd replace. In 2022, a Trump insider told Axios that tens of thousands of civil servants "deemed to have some influence over policy would be reassigned as 'Schedule F' employees," which could apply to nearly 50,000 federal workers.

Long story short: There wouldn't be anybody anywhere in the White House or any other governmental branch or section that would be able to tell Donald Trump no.

According to AP News, Schedule F has already been endorsed by 27 advocacy organizations as of February 2024.

Wait, I'm a little freaked out

Young gay couple standing over isolated background afraid and shocked with surprise and amazed expression, fear and excited face.
Young gay couple standing over isolated background afraid and shocked with surprise and amazed expression, fear and excited face.

Krakenimages.com/Shutterstock

Are you?

Good.

You should be.

Again, this project isn’t exactly new, it’s just finally getting the public attention it so despearately needs.

In case you’ve scrolled to the end for a TL;DR experience, here’s a quick recap of a very basic outline of what they want:

  • To be able to discriminate against LGBTQ+ workers

  • To eliminate abortion and control reproductive rights

  • To enforce a “family only” approach that includes a mother and a father in the home and wipes out single motherhood. (As a side rant to this, it says that “working fathers are essential to the well-being and development of their children,” as though absent fathers only exist in Democratic households and this manifesto will suddenly make every parent care about their kid.)

  • Remove gender-affirming care and classify transgenderism as “gender dysmorphia.”

  • Eliminate the Department of Education. The literal DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION would CEASE TO EXIST and the GOVERNMENT WOULD CONTROL SCHOOLS.

  • Ban words like diversity

  • Give Donald Trump unchecked power by replacing a swath of the government with yes men.

And in all of this, one of their goals is also to institute “greater transparency, accountability, and oversight.”

What can I do about this?

American flag and gay pride rainbow bracelet as a message in the US political elections.
American flag and gay pride rainbow bracelet as a message in the US political elections.

Joaquin Corbalan P/Shutterstock


If this shocks you and you want to put a stop to it, unfortunately there's only one thing you really can do: Vote against it, and be vocal about your opposition like Taraji P. Henson.

And yes, I get it… I watched the first debate, as well. The Democrats are in something of a scramble after a relatively poor performance from the incumbent President Joe Biden. Talk of replacing him with someone else has been rampant ever since the debate took place, but we’re going to blink and November will be here before we know it, so time is running out. If control goes back to the Republicans, we may as well start taking notes of how people survived in The Handmaid's Tale.