The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) has been making headlines recently with their anti-transgender campaign of deception, including fighting legal protections of children in California and even pushing one young girl in Colorado to the brink of suicide with PJI's slander. Now, TransAdvocate says, "enough is enough."
Last month, PJI distributed a story to FOX News about a transgender teenage girl harassing her female classmates in school bathrooms, which was then picked up by the Examiner and the UK's Daily Mail. Just one problem---the girl is real, but the story is not. The situation was fabricated in response to increased protections for transgender students in California. PJI's internationally-spread lies pushed the Colorado student, who is remaining anonymous, to consider ending her life, as she was put on suicide watch shortly after the "news" spread and she received multiple death threats. Furthermore, there's been an increase in violence against gender non-conforming students in California following the debate over legal protections. These disturbing cases exemplify the significant danger behind allegations made by anti-trans groups that trans people—children, at that—are deviants, predators, and monsters. GLAAD has been following these cases closely, promoting the work of trans advocates and urging the media to get their facts straight.
The team at TransAdvocate, a blog dedicated to the voices of the trans community, is not taking these instances of cultural and physical violence lightly. Managing Editor Cristan Williams and Autumn Sandeen, both contributing writers to the blog, organized a good old-fashioned protest outside PJI's building in Sacramento. Adding a modern twist, the protest expanded to include tons of participants online, who used "#JD4PJI" to raise their voices through social media in support of the safety and dignity of trans students.
"We felt that it was time someone took this fight to PJI's front doorstep," Cristan said in a recent article for the website. She added that the group "who chose to call out PJI's obdurate behavior were trans allies, parents, youth, war veterans, clergy and attorneys, as well as 100s of virtual protestors."
— transadvocate (@transadvocate) November 19, 2013
One of the protestors at PJI's doors was Adam Ackley, a minister and theology professor who was fired from a Christian college for being transgender. Adam highlighted the hypocrisy behind many transphobic acts when he told TransAdvocate, "I'm here to support all transgender people against 'Christian' bullies, particularly adults who harass children claiming that it is a 'nightmare scenario when a child uses the bathroom'…As a Christian minister, that it's being done in the name of Christianity [is] absolutely objectionable."
In a previous interview with TransAdvocate, the Colorado teen's mother spoke of her daughter's courage to be herself despite the cruelty she's received. The mom said, "She's just trying to be a normal teenager and go on with life. It hurts her and hurts us as a family, and we're trying our best to be here to support her and to be here for her. And if anything, I think it's going to make us stronger because we're here to fight for what we believe is right, and for her to be who she wants to be, and for her to be happy as who she is, and not be afraid of who she is."
To check out more pictures from the protest and #JD4PJI graphics, go to TransAdvocate's original post. Share this post, the graphics, and the hash tag on your own social media to join in the stand against PJI and transphobia.