Today, I read about a man who is charged with threatening to kill LGBTQ people in response to the mass shooting in Nashville that left six people dead at the hands of a shooter who identified as trans. The shooter also died.
The man who allegedly threatened the Human Rights Campaign, Adam Michael Nettina, is charged with interstate communications with a threat to injure for allegedly leaving a voicemail on March 28 in which he threatened to “slaughter,” shoot and assault members of the organization.
Authorities say they believe he references the Nashville shooting in his voicemail. Nashville police have said the school shooter identified as transgender, adding the shooter was assigned female at birth but pointed to a social media account linked to the shooter that included use of the pronouns he/him.
“You guys going to shoot up our schools now? Is that how it’s going to be?” the voicemail said, according to DOJ documents.
It continued, “We’re waiting. And if you want a war, we’ll have a war.”ABC
I’m in the middle of a ‘blitz’ crowdfund to put more #ProtectTransKids yard signs out in Pennsylvania. We had reached 1150 signs produced before this began. Now we’ve been able to order another 150 for three different communities. Read more about the project here.
When I drive around, I look for signs. My heart skips a little bit when I see one and thumps when I see a cluster. I feel excited and even as an adult, a cisgender queer adult woman, I feel safer. I want that feeling for everyone.
I also notice where there are no or few signs. I suspect it isn’t just a resistance to the message, but a lack of awareness that the signs are available. So finding community partners to serve as distribution spots is incredibly helpful.
Hence, this blitz effort. We lined up the communities with an active local partner and have been crowdfunding one by one. A box of 50 signs is $580.
Truth is we can send a box of signs anywhere in the US. Just ask.
Here’s the current list
City of Butler, Butler County Fox Chapel School District parents McCandless and North Hills parents
- Brookline and South Hills communities
- City of Washington, Washington County
- Greensburg, Westmoreland County
- Bentworth School District parents, Bentleyville, Washington County
I’d like to add a few communities where school districts and municipal governments are repealing trans and queer affirming polices and ordinances
- Bucks County
- York County
- Chambersburg, Franklin County
A box of 50 signs costs us $580. Our partners at Commonwealth Press ship for free (we love them.) So we need $2900 to meet the requests for the five in the first list and $4640 for all eight. It will take a long time to raise any portion of that money on my own. I’ve been at it nonstop and really need your help so I can get some rest.
Please note that this is not a fundraiser for Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities and that we do not charge anyone for a sign. It’s all funded by donations. Between June and December 2022, you invested nearly $20,000 in donations.
It isn’t unreasonable to aim for another $5000 now. But we need help. We need businesses to pitch in and we need allies to share the link. We need bake sales, lemonade stands, and 50/50 raffles.
A few days after our partner in Butler announced the plan and shared our link for individual requests, I saw a new request from a young adult in Butler County asking for pens and stickers, but specifically said they couldn’t take a sign because their parents are homophobic. (their words)
So if we can stickers, pens, and signs into Boba cafes and pizzerias, libraries and schools, we are creating one more spot where kids who can’t have a sign at their home, will find a sign that they are loved and appreciated.
Why now? It’s spring. This is when we put things in the ground to bring health and beauty and happiness. Our project describes “planting signs” rather than putting them in the ground because we know each sign generates good new things – visibility, awareness, affirmation, comfort, and someone saying “Where did you get that sign?”
April is home to the Day of Silence. It is when we celebrate our environment. Heck, it is when baseball is back. April is also when the University of Pittsburgh hosts a “debate” about transgender identity featuring someone else who wants to eradicate trans folx.
Queer and trans folx of all ages are very well aware that a portion of our fellow Americans are at war with us – they do not respect our rights, our families, our existence. I take hope in the fact that over a thousand of my neighbors here in Western PA are sending a different message.
We will continue to order new signs as long as we have requests (and donations.)
Request a sign AND stickers bit.ly/ProtectsTransKidsSigns
- GoFundMe bit.ly/YardSignsFund **Preferred
- Venmo @PittsburghLGBTQ
- Paypal bit.ly/PayPalPLC
- Facebook.com/PittsburghLGBTQ – Click on Donation
- Facebook Fundraiser https://www.facebook.com/donate/3372079013039790/
- Checks made payable to ‘Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities’ and mailed to 1439 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15233.
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