Parents With Purpose lost last night. Hate lost…for now. They lost an election last night. I doubt we have heard the last of Ralph Bonatz, Katherine David, and Jean Forrest. I don’t think for one moment these people and the people they represent are going to stop trying to win their waged war on children. For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, these three people tried to oust incumbents in school district 211 in Palatine Illinois. Though they had other things on the ballot, their hook was to reverse the rights of transgender students in Palatine schools.
If you want to catch up on the basics of how Palatine, Illinois became part of a national conversation for transgender rights, there is a NYT article that summarizes things very well. It showcases how “A Transgender Student Won Her Battle: Now It’s War”.
Preacher With Purpose: Fueling Hate In the Name Of Love
There is a church named New Hope Community Church with a pastor named Pastor James Pittman Jr. Pittman has become a fixture at school board meetings and the press along with many of his church members. He uses the Bible, his race, and a pitiful understanding of biology and science to justify restricting the civil rights of children.
If you read the New York Times article I posted a link to earlier, you will see the clever language used to make hate sound rational. Parents with purpose. Never mind the fact that the purpose is to reverse the civil rights of children. Alliance Defending Freedom. The freedom to use your religion to restrict the freedoms of children. Other terminology is used such as preserving the dignity of all students, except the ones we do not recognize. As a matter of fact, they refuse to recognize them. On the news and in school board meetings I have seen many of these people deliberately misgender trans teens by using their assigned pronouns as opposed to their proper pronouns. I have personally seen how this hurts my child and children in the Palatine School District.
It took a lot of restraint to start this entry reasonably. This issue has a sore spot in my world. Not only am I a parent of a trans teen, but I know many parents. We gather together, we share together and we learn and love together. I know three of the parents of trans teens in Palatine and I know their kids. I have pictures of my son with one of their daughter’s at one of my art gallery openings. They laughed together and in the art community are fully accepted. These parents and their children face a level of pain, frustration and fear that my son and I cannot possibly imagine.
Since we have walked down this road we have known the pain of suicidal ideations from his peers as they end up in the hospital…or worse. We have seen the results of deliberate misgendering, clever language and churches like Pittman’s. The results are deadly.
These parents with purpose defending freedom in the name of New Hope’s god will likely never take responsibility for their actions or know the fear and pain they have put precious children through. They will likely never apologize to the parents they have put through hell. They will also not stop anytime soon. They will not stop with the harmful and hateful things they have said at school board meetings. I went to two of those meetings. It was all I could stomach and one was so scary I was glad my son was not with me. I wasnervous to walk into the parking lot after that first meeting I attended.
I am grateful for the bravery of the young lady and her parent who fought for her rights and the rights of other students like her. I am also grateful to the people who have fought this uphill battle to preserve those rights. I am beholden to them for the battle won and the latest war that was won. But we all know that this is not over in Palatine. We know it is not over in this nation we live in. We also are well aware that it is not over world wide.
I wish I could tell you the names of the beautiful people I know in Palatine. I wish I could show you their bright smiles. For their safety, I cannot and I dare not.
Today I celebrate the victory of my friends and the friends of my son. I also celebrate for the families in Palatine that I do not know that live in this fear. We all get to take a breath and be grateful to all the voters who made their voice known and stood on the right side of history, civil rights, and children. But this ain’t over yet. This battle has already been deadly and lawsuits are in motion. Stay tuned and get involved. We need you.