Anti-LGBT trolls are sending horrific abuse to a 9-year-old girl

Nick Duffy December 23, 2016
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Vile internet trolls are targeting a 9-year-old and her mum with shocking abuse, after she appeared on the cover of National Geographic.

9-year-old trans girl Avery Jackson is featured on the cover of the latest special issue of National Geographic.

The magazine focused on ‘Gender Revolution’, featureing stories of trans and gender non-confirming young people, with Jackson also opening up about her experiences.

However, right-wing evangelicals launched a campaign against the magazine – with the American Family Association putting out a call for supporters to harass the magazine’s editor, Susan Goldberg, who they branded a child “abuser”.

Since the group’s campaign, a tidal wave of horrific messages have also been directed to Jackson’s family, whose contact details have been leaked online by anti-trans activists.

Her mother Debi Jackson received messages calling for her to be “exterminated”, with some personally targeting Avery as a “freak” and urging her to take her own life.

In response to the messages, Debi Jackson wrote on Facebook: “Thank you for all of the hate-filled comments & threats!

“I’m saving each one to show lawmakers why anti-discrimination and hate crime laws are needed. You’re doing God’s work. Bless you!”

The proud mum told the Kansas City Star: “It’s a bunch of internet trolls… this one particular group likes to target the trans community. A lot of them try to target people and harass them so much so that they’ll commit suicide.

“They’ve started a thread about me, [describing me] as a horrible and abusive parent who is using my child for fame and fortune, and obviously I have a twisted sexual deviancy issues to make my boy act like a girl’.

“They found information and put it out there.

“People later commented, ‘Yeah, she’s definitely one who needs to be cyberbullied until she commits suicide’.

“It’s gone from, ‘You’re an abusive mom and people should call child protective services’, to ‘You should be killed immediately — the only way your kids will be safe is if you are exterminated’.”

In a separate response to abuse and criticism, National Geographic editor Susan Goldberg has penned an open letter.

She wrote: “Since we shared photos of the cover of our special issue on gender on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, tens of thousands of people have weighed in with opinions, from expressions of pride and gratitude to utter fury. More than a few have vowed to cancel their subscriptions.

“These comments are a small part of the profound discussion going on right now about gender.

“Our January issue focuses mostly on young people and how gender roles play out around the world. For one of our stories, which we also turned into a series of videos, we went to eight countries and shot portraits of 80 nine-year-olds, who talked to us in brave and honest ways about how gender influenced their lives.

“One of them was Avery. She has lived as an openly transgender girl since age five, and she captured the complexity of the conversation around gender.

“Today, we’re not only talking about gender roles for boys and girls—we’re talking about our evolving understanding of people on the gender spectrum.

“We hope these stories about gender will spark thoughtful conversations about how far we have come on this topic—and how far we have left to go.”

More: abuse, avery jackson, LGBT, national geographic, Trans, Transgender, US

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