This morning, a magistrate judge ruled that local woman Darian Balcom was guilty of harassment after erecting a 9-foot billboard in her backyard. The sign read ‘Transing is Abuse and Homophobia’ and Balcom direct the sign in to the window of a 15-year-old Black trans teen living next door with her multiracial, queer family. ,
After documenting over two years of abusive and harassing behavior targeting the entire family, the teen’s fathers, Sean O’Donnell and Todd Collar, went to the District Attorney for criminal charges. The DA’s office filed one count of summary harassment which was presented in hearing in mid-June. Today’s ruling on that charge is a victory for the family who has endured so much, especially the kids. The family stated that it was important to have a public record of Darian Balcom’s guilt in this matter to hold her accountable for her actions.
In related news, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has filed charges against Darian Balcom on three counts of biased harassment – familial status, race, and sex, all of which are protected by the Commonwealth’s non-discrimination law.
Sean O’Donnell and Todd Collar issued this statement:
We are thrilled with the judge’s decision. This is a victory not just for our family, but for all marginalized persons. As to where we go from here, first thing is if you have a “Protect Trans Kids” yard sign in your yard, please keep it there. This may be a win for our family and for our transgender daughter, but we must never forget that there are countless numbers of trans individuals who do not have the support system and resources that our daughter has been privileged to have access to. We need to remember that those very powerful yard signs and the community support gives a collective voice to all those who are voiceless.
So we won, but we keep fighting.
For more backstory, read this content.
Over the past four weeks, more than 500 yard signs have popped up throughout the region with nearly 200 alone on the Northside where the family lives. The signs read ‘Protect Trans Kids’ and requests for the signs continue to fly in to Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities which is leading this effort.
Request a sign bit.ly/ProtectsTransKidsSigns
Donations can be made via
- GoFundMe bit.ly/YardSignsFund **Preferred
- Venmo @PittsburghLGBTQ
- Paypal bit.ly/PayPalPLC
- Checks made payable to ‘Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities’ and mailed to 1439 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233.
Click here for Q&A’s with the family.
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