Wave of support for transgender 12-year-old who parents threatened to castrate
A protest has been held in support of a transgender girl who was threatened with castration for using the girls’ bathroom at her school.
Community groups have rushed to support 12-year-old Maddie, who was called “it,” “this thing,” “half baked maggot” and “the transgender” on a Facebook group for parents of students in Achille, Oklahoma.
The two schools in Achille were closed on Monday and Tuesday (August 13 and 14) after Maddie used a girls’ toilet once, on the first day of seventh grade.
The child, who has been out as trans since the fifth grade, usually goes to the staff bathroom, but didn’t know where it was at her new school.
When local resident Jamie Crenshaw posted about this on the group, it prompted a tidal wave of hatred and threats of horrific violence towards Maddie.
One member called David Williams wrote: “You know we have open hunting seasons on them kind. Aint no bag limit in them either.”
Eddie Belcher said: “If he wants to be a female make him a female.
“A good sharp knife will do the job really quick.”
And one post by Seth Cooper suggested that Parker, who it is understood is Jamie Crenshaw’s son, “whip his ass until he quits coming to school.”
Police are investigating whether the posts constitute a hate crime.
A silent demonstration was held yesterday (August 14) in Achilles – which has a population of around 500 people – with around 20 people dressing in red and making their feelings clear, despite constant rain.
Police cleared space for a counter-protest, but no-one showed up, according to local news channel KXII.
One of the protesters, Darius Douglas, said: “Today was a representation of every tear everyone has cried for being different.”
Douglas added: “Everybody’s different.
“You don’t have to understand it, you don’t have to like it, it doesn’t have to be your cup of tea, but there are going to be different people in this world, and all we have to do is get along.”
TJ Pierce, who organised the rally, said: “Everyone was a supporter for keeping this child safe.”
They continued: “No child, regardless of sexual orientation or racial background or anything like that should ever feel like they have to watch their back every day.”
Maddie has also received support from activist groups like Free Mum Hugs, an Oklahoma-based non-profit whose representative Sara Cunningham told Maddie: “Know that you’re not alone.”
Speaking to local channel Fox 25, she added: “Be encouraged. Survive. That will be the best example.
“We have a vibrant, beautiful transgender community here.”
Freedom Oklahoma called the posts on the parents group “intolerable,” adding that it “denounces these threats of violence and the dehumanising comments.”
In a statement on its Facebook page, the LGBT+ advocacy group continued: “These comments have caused great alarm in the LGBTQ+ Community in Oklahoma and North Texas.
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“They do not respect the ideals of human dignity and freedom that are the core values of our Constitution.
“We would like to emphasise that gender identity is not a choice and is not malleable. Gender identity is part of a person’s core sense of self, as immutable as any other physical or psychological characteristic.
“Any threats of violence or physical assault directed at transgender identified people constitute a hate crime, especially when these actions endanger the safety and welfare of a child.
“Therefore, we urge the Achille Police Department and other relevant authorities to assure a prompt and thorough investigation in the matter. We also advocate for the support and protection of all concerned citizens.”
Earlier this year, leading trans advocate Sarah McBride, who is the Human Rights Campaign’s press secretary, spoke out about how a family’s acceptance of trans children can mean life or death.
In February, a trans teenager was taken out of his parents’ custody because they banned him from transitioning.
An Ohio court ruled that the 17-year-old, who has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and gender dysphoria, could live with his grandparents.