The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) opposes allowing transgender students equal access to facilities in schools and is trying to overturn California’s new law protecting them. The group has taken aim at a transgender teen in Colorado (“Jane Doe”), who they tried to claim was “harassing” her classmates in the girls’ bathroom. When it was revealed no harassment had actually taken place, PJI persisted anyway, now claiming that just by being in the bathroom, Jane Doe was “inherently harassing” her classmates. Thanks to the stress imposed by PJI’s campaign, Jane is now on suicide watch.
But PJI isn’t letting up, particularly now that there’s only one week left to collect signatures for the referendum in California. This week, they released a video featuring the Colorado families who objected to Jane Doe, and though the girls remain anonymous, their parents show their faces. Everyone in the video refers to Jane Doe as a boy, and PJI’s Brad Dacus suggests she has “gender identity disorder” even though the American Psychiatric Association no longer uses the term “disorder” to describe trans people. One mom demands, “he needs to respect me,” while another concludes, “he’s a confused boy.”
What’s most telling in the video is what the girls say about their experience in school. Some say they don’t even use a restroom with Jane Doe, and when they do, they just see her using a stall. Nothing actually has happened; they just feel “uncomfortable,” “nervous,” and “weird” around her because they don’t understand transgender identities. Without the video’s scary background music, their remarks simply sound transphobic:
GIRL 1: Well, it kind of makes me a little bit nervous about if I like run into him… I was going into the bathroom — I was just walking in and he’s in there and I just turned around walked out of the bathroom… I just don’t go to the bathroom as much anymore.
GIRL 2: I felt uncomfortable because I know that he doesn’t have the same parts as me, which I do not think that’s right — that he can go into the same bathroom as me… I actually only use the bathroom probably once a day, and that’s when I’m in gym, and I don’t have the same gym class with him, so I’m trusting that he won’t walk in there while I’m in there… My first time running into the boy in the locker room — or bathroom I mean — was like two months ago, and me and my friend were in there, and all of a sudden we see him walk out of the stall, and then I felt really weird and we just walked out.
GIRL 3: I believe if you wanna be gay or a girl if you’re a guy, you have the right to do that, but you don’t need to put everyone else in a position where they’re uncomfortable to do that… Things are meant to be private and kept for you and only for you.
Watch the fear-mongering video:
PJI claims that Jane Doe is violating the privacy of these girls, but by dedicating a national campaign to attacking her identity, they are violating her privacy instead.