GLAAD condemns fake “report” of harassment by transgender student

GLAAD condemned the false report by the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) which claimed a transgender kid was harassing cisgender girls in Colorado. PJI is the ex-gay/creationist organization at the center of an international effort to malign one transgender kid. Last week, the PJI provided the right-wing word with the ultimate talking point against protecting trans children when they claimed that a trans kid in Colorado, assisted by the public school system, harassed cisgender girls in the restrooms. Right wing media outlets jumped at the story without fact checking and inspired members of the right wing community to call for the death of the trans kid.

PJI is perhaps best known for claiming that overturning DOMA would lead to incest:

Just as the PJI story was gaining a foothold in international right wing and tabloid circles, the school’s Superintendent debunked PJI’s unsupported assertions of harassment and revealed that the media hype was instigated by one parent who objected to a trans kid being around cisgender kids. Furthermore, PJI issued a statement to the TransAdvocate yesterday clarifying the nature of the harassment. In the statement,  PJI asserted the mere presence of a trans person was “inherently intimidating and harassing.”

In August 2013, PJI set forth their belief that laws protecting trans kids would lead naked boys, assisted by the state, taking showers with naked girls:

GLADD Steps In

GLAAD, October 17, 2013

GLAAD quoted Florence High School Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti, saying, “We do have a transgender student at the high school, and she has been using the women’s restrooms. There has not been a situation. All the students of these parents who say they feel uncomfortable just about the fact that the student is allowed to go into the restrooms at the high school, into the stalls – they don’t believe that that’s appropriate, so that’s where it stems from. There has not been an incident of harassment, or anything that would cause any additional concern.”

In light of the facts, GLAAD condemned Fox News for their failure to correct the PJI story they’re currently running. Undeterred by facts, Fox News continues to promote PJI’s hyperbole:

FOX News headline as of October 17, 2013

Like the PJI, Fox News has made it clear that protecting trans children will lead to numerous state-sponsored X-rated scenes involving children on school property:

PJI tipped their hand to their true purpose in targeting the Colorado trans kid in the last paragraph of the press release:


Apparently the life of this Colorado trans kid is mere fodder in PJI’s larger war against Californian protections for trans children. It seems that any harm PJI causes to this Colorado trans kid is acceptable because they’re fighting for their right to discriminated against trans children.

GLAAD asked that people take action and “tell FOX News to stop promoting this false story.” The LGBT rights organization asked that you tweet Fox News @FOXNews telling them to “check your facts and stop promoting the false story of a Colorado transgender high school student.” In their statement to the TransAdvocate, PJI voiced their hope that journalists cease retracting PJI’s stories.

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Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of underserved communities. She started the first trans homeless shelter in Texas and co-founded the first federally funded housing-first homeless program, pioneered affordable health care for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. She has published short stories, academic chapters and papers, and numerous articles for both print and digital magazines. She received numerous awards for her advocacy and has presented at universities throughout the nation, served on several governmental committees and CBO boards, is the Editor of the TransAdvocate, and is a founding board member of the Transgender Foundation of America and the Bee Busy Wellness Center.