Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Family Research Council paints trans children as dangerous by ignoring their existence

Trans children need to be protected from school bullying and especially groups which will falsely call them predators.
Like so many other schools in America, a controversy involving transgender students and bathroom access has taken place in Jasper, GA. And like with so many of these controversies, the Family Research Council lurks about to falsely imply that trans children are a danger to other children.

Jasper, Georgia isn't a big town. At last count, it had about 3,800 residents. So it was a big deal when 900 of those people squeezed into the Pickens County High auditorium determined to stop Jasper from becoming the next stop in the march for transgender bathrooms. 
For the small community, the time for polite conversation was over. The residents packed into the special school board meeting were angry. They'd already made accommodations for the two students who identified as another gender, setting up single-person restrooms for anyone who wanted them. The trouble is, these kids weren't satisfied with that compromise. 
In a fiery meeting that pit Superintendent Carlton Wilson against most of the town, moms and dads like Nathan Barfield were furious that his two children are being made uncomfortable because a handful of students want access to any bathroom. "Most people won't say anything because they fear retaliation," he fumed. "[But] accommodations have already been made for transgender students. This is nothing but a political stunt to gain attention!" A raucous applause broke out, punctuated by a series of "Amens!" "Once you give into this, you'll open the floodgates," warned another mom.

FRC's rendition of the board meeting comes from an Atlantic Journal Constitution article. And the group had no problem lying about the facts:

In Jasper, the parents were fortunate. They won. Superintendent Wilson saw the outpouring of opposition and reconsidered. But despite all the Trump administration has done to put these decisions back in communities' hands, there will always be a small army of activists who try to slip this indoctrination into your district.

That's not what happened. According to the AJC article:

 The school board set the special meeting to hear residents’ concerns about a recent decision to let a transgender student use the restroom for the gender that student identifies with. Prior to the meeting, Superintendent Carlton Wilson said he had gotten death threats since announcing that decision. Wilson had cited as part of his reason an 11th Circuit Court ruling that hasn't gone into effect yet. He admitted he was misinformed and announced that he has put the decision on hold until he and the board can discuss the issue further.

But lying about the board's decision is not the worse thing FRC did when distorting this incident. FRC attempts to paint the incident as parents joining forces to protect their children against a danger.  To push that narrative, FRC omitted other voices included in the AJC article - those of LGBTQ youth:

Kino Ciel Stanfield came to the microphone and nervously admitted he was part of the very small population of transgender Americans. A 2017 Pickens High graduate, he said he began his transition shortly after graduation.

“To transition isn’t something taken lightly,” he said. “I spoke to doctors and specialists and we came to the conclusion that this was best for me.”Stanfield said even though there wasn’t a policy in place while he was in school, he used the single-stall bathroom in the nurse’s office and similar facilities because it was easier. He said he was more concerned about everyone else’s comfort than his own.

. . . Jordan Stewart, a 2017 Pickens High graduate, said he came out as gay his junior year and faced bullying of a different kind.“What you don’t understand is that a trans man is a man and a trans woman is a woman,” he said. “They just want to be able to go to the bathroom and do their business like everyone else. Too many LGBTQ youth avoid using the bathroom at all at school, to the detriment of their health. “

Several times in the past, the Family Research Council openly pushed the false narrative that transgender children are predators and a danger to other children. This time, that goal is accomplished by simply ignoring their existence, i.e. refusing to acknowledge their humanity and  their side of the issue. It's something to remember the next time FRC goes through its tired whine about being "bullied" by the LGBTQ community.

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