Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists or TERFs attempted to derail a Pittsburgh holiday project for LGBTQ teens.
Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities is organizing a gift card drive for local teens affiliated with queer and trans organizations. It is an extension of their #ProtectTransKids projects that are distributing over 1000 yard signs, 5000 stickers, and 2500 pens with a simple message.
The gift cards embrace all LGBTQ teens to celebrate their identities.
On Monday, November 2022, fake entries were submitted via the form dedicated to LGBTQ organizations interested in receiving gift cards for their teens. Over the course of 12 hours more than 100 submissions bombarded the form with misleading and offensive data.
In some cases, the TERFs used the names and addresses of real trans led organizations. In others, they listed assorted behavioral health hotlines under contact information. In yet other entries, they lace the content with TERF phrases and language.
This harassment created additional work for project organizers trying to sort out valid submissions from the fake submissions. Particularly heinous is invoking the names of real community groups doing important work, especially during trans visibility week.
The trolling reinforces the very need for the project – what kind of twisted person uses a holiday project to hurt teenagers as young as 12? The very kind who pursue legislative and judicial actions to interfere with the very existence of these kids. The same person who apparently considers a nice holiday gesture as threatening as a child playing soccer or a middle-schooler reading a book.
The same people who threaten providers offering gender affirming healthcare in Boston and Pittsburgh among other cities to the extent that they need security details.
They are a small, but vicious group of nasty people who must have thought spending a day bombarding our registration form was fun. They created fake email addresses, looked up real physical addresses tied to their messaging, copied paragraphs of propaganda into the form and probably spent many hours trying to make these individual ridiculous responses seem valid. Imagine how they could channel that time for something constructive to benefit women and girls?
This wasn’t just gobbledygook. It was methodical. The responses are filled with TERF phrases and terminology. Who has that much time? You might ask why I had so much time to comb through it, but hopefully by now you know that I would definitely do that to protect trans kids.
We are working to track the IP addresses of these people. If they attack again, we’ll respond proportionately. No one on our end thinks harassing LGBTQ teens is acceptable.
The best response is to make the project a roaring success. Consider a gift card as a way to offset the harm. Donate to local trans led organizations and organizations supporting LGBTQ youth
Proud Haven and TransYOUniting
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