Fundraiser for transgender kid who was threatened with castration trebles target in just five days
The 12-year-old transgender girl in Oklahoma who was threatened with castration and beatings for using a girls’ bathroom will be able to move.
In the wake of the abuse, Maddie’s family started fundraising to be able to get out of the town of Achille, which has a population of around 500, and settle closer to the rest of their relatives in Houston, Texas.
The GoFundMe page has so far raised around $42,000 – more than four times its initial goal of $10,000, and more than double its second target of $15,000 – in only five days.
The biggest donor, called Nick Shanny, gave $10,000 to the cause. This is the same name as one of the co-founders of travel site TripAdvisor.
A spokesperson for TripAdvisor told PinkNews: “We can’t confirm personal contributions by our employees.”
The second-largest donation, of $1,000, came from Katherine Applegate, the American young adult fiction author who created the Animorphs, Remnants and Everworld series.
PinkNews has requested a comment from the writer, who last week retweeted a story about Maddie on her Twitter page.
The 12-year-old was called “it,” “this thing,” “half baked maggot” and “the transgender” on a Facebook group for parents of students in the small rural town after she used the female facilities at Achille High School.
A Frontier Airlines pilot has since been suspended over the abuse, and schools in the district were closed for two days while the authorities made sure their security was sufficient.
Maddie returned to school on August 15, but was still “too scared to sleep alone,” according to her mother, Brandy.
Less than a week later, more than 1,100 people have made it financially possible for her family to get out of Achille.
Maddie’s mother told NBC News: “I hope we get our ducks in a row so we can move to Houston as soon as possible.
“We just want to do it the right way, so it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight, but that is our plan — to just get out of this little town.”
She added: “My daughter cried the other day saying that this is all her fault. I just want kids to know out there that the hatred is not their fault at all.
“There’s nothing wrong with them. God made them the way there are for a reason. God doesn’t make mistakes.”
Speaking directly to parents of LGBT+ kids, she urged them to “accept your children. Let them be who they are.
“All you can do is love your children and protect them as best you can.”
She added: “There’s so much more love than there is hate, and everyone needs to know that.”
The abuse and threats came in a tidal wave after local resident Jamie Crenshaw posted about Maddie, who has been out as trans since the fifth grade, used the girl’s bathroom because she didn’t know where the staff bathroom was.
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.”
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Another group member, Kevin Lee Bickerstaff, said: “Just tell the kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won’t want to come back!”
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.”
A silent demonstration was held on August 14 in Achilles with attendees dressing in red and making their feelings clear, despite constant rain.
Police cleared space for a counter-protest, but no-one showed up.
One of the protesters, Darius Douglas, said: “Today was a representation of every tear everyone has cried for being different.”
This article was updated with a comment from TripAdvisor that was received after publication, and to confirm that Katherine Applegate donated to the fundraiser.