The family only learned about the controversy when the school was bombarded with media requests after some other parents held a poorly attended rally protesting the teen’s use of girls’ facilities.
This post originally appeared at ThinkProgress
By Zack Ford
The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) has claimed that a transgender teen at Florence High School in Colorado is harassing her classmates. According to the school superintendent, those claims have been fabricated, and PJI has since admitted that it believes that allowing trans students equal access to facilities is “inherently harassing.” TransAdvocate blogger Cristan Williams has been countering PJI’s claims, and she was able to make contact with the transgender student and her family.
Williams identifies the student as Jane Doe, though her name has been outed by those attempting to villainize her. She spoke with one of Jane’s moms, who provided some new insights into how PJI’s drama has unfolded. Jane transitioned about two years ago, and is now “comfortable with life,” having previously experienced a lot of harassment when she would still use men’s restrooms. Her mom describes her as “shy and timid, “private about everything,”” and also quite afraid of being bullied.
The family only learned about the controversy when the school was bombarded with media requests after some other parents held a poorly attended rally protesting Jane’s use of girls’ facilities. Jane then found PJI’s complaint online, and it caused her anxiety attacks:
JANE’S MOM: My daughter was the one who learned about the Pacific Justice Institute. She saw it online. She was upset. It made her panic. She saw where their story had become international news and she saw what people were saying. It gave her anxiety attacks. She was upset about the whole thing. She kept asking me how people could do that to her. She saw all this negative stuff about her and she can’t understand how they could say those things when they don’t even know who she is as a person. They don’t know what this does to a kid.
Jane’s mother offered this following statement to the Pacific Justice Institute:
JANE’S MOM: What you’re doing isn’t right. You say that you’re a God-loving people but you’ve targeted my daughter – a kid – like this. You shouldn’t do this to any kid. You should be ashamed. You’re wrong for what you’ve done to my daughter.
PJI, however, is not backing down. In a new interview at uber-conservative WorldNetDaily about the fabricated harassment, PJI attorney Matthew McReynolds made several new statements confirming how their campaign is fueled by transphobia. Here’s how he describes the way Jane was supposedly harassing her classmates [Note: Jane is misgendered as “he”]:
MCREYNOLDS: We’ve heard some reports that he’s commented on what girls are wearing or their figure while in the bathroom. If you can imagine that scenario from the reference and framework of a teenage girl, I think that’s pretty harassing.
Apparently high school girls talking about clothes in the bathroom is considered “harassment.”
McReynolds believes there are “workable solutions,” but he doesn’t specify what they are. Here’s how he frames the other girls’ current predicament [again, Jane is misgendered]:
MCREYNOLDS: Our students are in a scenario where they’re being told, If you don’t want to be in this situation where this guy walks in while you’re in the bathroom, then you’ve got to confine yourself to one staff bathroom that is very inconvenient, that’s not even open all the time that they’re on campus for athletic activities and things like that. You just have to give up your right to use the other dozen or so bathrooms on campus. You just have to clear out so that this one other student can do whatever he wants.
This is ironic, given this is exactly the kind of isolation and ostracization that transgender students experience when they are not provided equal access to facilities. Like PJI’s other statements, this comment confirms that they are not objecting to any specific behavior in which Jane has engaged, but the fact that she was in the bathroom at all. These other girls just do not want to see her there.
Jane is simply trying to live her life and be herself, but PJI seems to want to make her a poster child for the false stereotype that transgender people are inherently predatory.
Photo: AP File/Toby Talbot