Second PJI-backed signature gatherer caught lying; this time, trans kids cause rape & molestation

For the second time, undercover auditors for the TransAdvocate have caught Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) backed signature gathers working to overturn trans protections for California school children by lying. PJI, an ex-gay organization who recently orchestrated a smear campaign of lies against a Colorado trans kid resulting in the trans youth becoming suicidal, is a major financial backer of the effort to overturn a recent California law banning discrimination against trans children.

PJI attempted to use Jane Doe, a Colorado trans youth, as their cautionary tale poster child, proving that trans equality laws lead harassment, assault and worse. However, PJI’s hoax was debunked by the TransAdvocate and several media outlets deleted and/or retracted and apologized to Jane Doe  for running PJI’s story without fact checking it. Last week, an undercover auditor for the TransAdvocate found that a signature gather was telling people that AB 1266, the California law protecting trans children, allowed gay men to use both the men and women’s restrooms.

The lies uncovered by this signature gather are far more insidious. This signature gatherer, an employee for the Oakland School District, claims that AB 1266 has facilitated rape and molestation. She claims that boys are pretending to be gay in order to get into the girl’s restroom so that they can take pictures. Furthermore, she asserts her right to segregate trans kids from cis kids because trans kids are a minority, a talking point PJI has pushed in the media:


Signature Gatherer: Registered voter?

TA Auditor: Yeah

SG: You hear about the co-ed bathrooms?

TAA: Mm, what?

SG: Governor Brown passed a bill where it’s okay for boys and girls to go into restrooms together because of — ‘transgender’ children?

TAA: Uh huh…

SG: Right now we’re having problems in the bathroom already. I work for the school district. And we’re…

TAA: What kind of problems have you had in the bathrooms?

SG: Uhm, first of all, kids. They’re just kids, y’know, they experiment, they, uh, [unintelligible], things like that, but, uhm, something,  we’ve had a couple of rapes, we’ve had molestations

TAA: You’ve had rapes? Where?

SG: Oh, yeah!

TAA: What school do you work at?

SG: Oh, we’re in Oakland…

TAA: You’re in Oakland…

SG: Yeah, we’re in Oakland, uhm, but it happens at – various- schools, it’s not just Oakland schools, you just don’t hear about that stuff. Uhm, and then, basically, uh- older kids- as- as they get older, right now, boys – teenage boys heard about this and they’re going into girls’ bathrooms saying they’re gay, and they’re trying to take pictures of girls…

TAA: Wait, wait, wait, say that again – boys…

SG: Teenage boys…

TAA: Teenage boys who are-

SG: Who – are NOT gay, are saying they’re gay because they heard about this, and now, they’re going into the girls’ bathroom. It had-it happened at Chico, it happened in, at, uh, Butte, and it’s happening in various schools. Now teenage girls are running up here wanting to sign this because they don’t want boys to be coming in their bathroom.

TAA: Can you- what- okay– Teenage boys at Butte, at Chico…

SG: Well, teenage boys at various schools. Just teenage boys. Then at Butte and Chico, girls have been telling me that boys are now coming into their bathroom, ’cause they heard about this.

TAA: Yeah..

SG: Well you know, boys are gonna’ be boys. And now you have girls d-doin’ it, y’know. So…

TAA: Have, have girls going into the boys bathroom?

SG: Oh, yeah, I mean I heard – I’ve heard mothers tell me that they used to try to do that when they were teenagers, y’know, so you that idiot’s askin’ for trouble.

TAA: Girls trying to go in the…

SG: Yeah…

TAA: Yeah, it never happened where I grew up.

SG: Well, let me tell you a lot has happened ’cause I have been…

TAA: I grew up, I grew up in Loomis, I grew up about twenty miles from here. It’s a little farming community, it’s an orchard community, and that didn’t happen.

SG: There’s that didn’t happen when were growing up – what’s, what’s changed?

TAA: Do you have some literature here?

SG: Uh, no, you can read it [the petition]. Uhm, but, there’s uh… it’s just that, it’s the times. It’s a different time when we were coming up. Y’know, I was just in san Francisco, and they had the Gay Pride parade, three months ago, about three months ago, and we had thousands – of – adults, naked, in the street, with children. No, but I wouldn’t have seen that when I was growing up. That’s what I’m saying, is times have changed.

TAA: Hmn…

SG: Y’know, so, no. Parent- and then it’s the choice of the parents – parents don’t want their kids in the – boys in the girls bathroom, y’know? No.

TAA: Well, here’s one of the things, though. If you’re, if you’re a transgendered child, you’ve got to go to counseling,

SG: Right..

TAA: It tales at least three months…

SG: Do you- First of all, I WORK for Oakland public school. Half of the things that are supposed to be going on in that school, as far regulations, is not going on. There’s not enough teachers, uhm, there’s not enough people, I mean, (y’know, I’m telling you)

TAA: And, and – what’s..

SG: So, it’s not..

TAA: What’s causing not enough people to be there? If you had- You work in a school – if you had a budget-

SG: Right. And most- That’s what I’m saying, you don’t have enough money, to have people in there…

TAA: So, I would rather sign a petition to up the school budgets, so you have the money to handle these problems.

SG: How many times has that been tried, y’know, them trying to pass that. y’know what I’m saying? Right now we gotta deal with what you can.

TAA: I have to think about, y’know these transgender children (that I’ve met.)

SG: But they can have a family bathroom, they can have a family bath…

TAA: But they’re still ostracized, and like I said, they go through, they go through…

SG: Well, this is it, they’re less than one percent in the schools. I’d rather that THEM have to go (into…)

TAA: You’re less than- well, you’re less than a majority, because of the color of your skin.


TAA: Yeah–…

SG: There’s more of us than them.

TAA: *hah…*???

SG: okay?

TAA: So it’s still…

SG: Well, you know, I, I hear what you’re saying, and I, understanding what you’re saying, but I (just..)

TAA: And they didn’t ask to be this way.

SG: I didn’t say they did.

TAA: They didn’t ask to be this way.

SG: I didn’t, I’m not saying anything about them. I’m not saying anything negative about them. Have I? No, I haven’t. I’m talking about the boys and the girls. That’s my, my issue.

TAA: We, we can still keep them out – I mean if a boy’s just going in there to horse around, I wanna know.

SG: Do you know kids have already been RAPED – in the bathroom? They were just had a murder in the bathroom.

TAA: Were they raped by transgender children, or (by heterosexual, cisgender children?)

SG: (It doesn’t matter about transgenders! People aren’t all) transgenders! I’m not talking about transgenders. (No, I’m talkin’ about people.

TAA: This is a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. This is a solution…

[Some guy wearing a metal name-tag with a red cross on it walks up and begins talking]

SIGNER: [to signature gatherer,] You keep that up and I’m going to have to ask you out to dinner!

[Signer and signature gatherer laugh]

SIGNER: Yes I am, by god, I’m adamantly opposed to this!

SG: Thank you, sir.

TAA: But this is a solution for a problem…

SG: I understand what you’re saying but I really don’t want to continue the conversation. (I’m helping someone right now. I thank you. God bless you.)

TAA: I’m definitely against the people who are going to go in there and rape. Let’s stop that.

SG: God bless you.

I reached out to the Oakland Unified School District to fact check this signature gatherer’s fact assertions. Unsurprisingly, the PJI-backed signature gatherer was lying:

Troy Flint, Director of Communications, Oakland Unified School District
Troy Flint, Director of Communications, Oakland Unified School District

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Contrary to the allegations contained in your email, we have not received reports of sexual assault or sexual harassment perpetrated by transgender students. Nor does OUSD support efforts to marginalize this population. Quite the opposite, OUSD has been a leader in advocating for equitable treatment where gender and sexual orientation are concerned.

– Troy Flint, Director of Communications, Oakland Unified School District


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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.