IT’S GONE FROM, ‘YOU’RE AN ABUSIVE MOM AND PEOPLE SHOULD CALL CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES,’ TO ‘YOU SHOULD BE KILLED IMMEDIATELY — THE ONLY WAY YOUR KIDS WILL BE SAFE IS IF YOU ARE EXTERMINATED.’“
It was only a matter of time before people began to take sides over National Geographic putting Kansas City 9-year-old Avery Jackson on the cover of their January issue titled “Gender Revolution”. According to Avery’s mother, Debi, most of the reactions were supportive and positive, but many others we filled with violent threats and hate. Some were even calling for the mother to be “exterminated.”
Leading the charge of the bullying campaign is America’s favorite hate group, the American Family Association. In reaction to the news of the cover, they issued a biblical warning to their followers on Facebook. “BE WARNED PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS!!! National Geographic shakes a fist at God and biblical authority on their radical mission to advocate gender confusion in upcoming issues,” the post said. The AFA has a long history of being anti-transgender and they have been behind many of the boycotts of LGBT+ friendly businesses that are taking place across the country.
The anger stirred by such groups has led to many threats aimed at the Jackson family. “It’s the amount of threats,” Avery’s mother Debi Jackson told kansascity.com. “It’s gone from, ‘You’re an abusive mom and people should call child protective services,’ to ‘You should be killed immediately — the only way your kids will be safe is if you are exterminated.’“
The anger and threats have not deterred the Jackson family however. They have been actively working to dispel the myths about transgender people for years. In 2014, Debi Jackson spoke at a conference at Unity Temple on the Plaza about how she came to realize her child was transgender and how she supports her daughter. The video of her speech has over 625,000 views. An essay written by Avery’s father, Tom Jackson, was also published in the New York Times in 2015. The family was also invited by President Barack Obama to take part in the Easter egg roll at the White house.
The family says they have no regrets about letting Avery be on the cover of National Geographic. “We’re proud of her being on the cover, particularly because of how much confidence it shows she has,” Debi Jackson said. Avery also realizes the impact her being on the cover will have. “That’s helping other people,” she said. “And it’s showing we exist. Transgender people do exist. And they’re there, and you can’t ignore them, because they’re there. It also shows that I’m proud to be transgender. I don’t care if I’m transgender. I’m just out there, a normal human being changing the world.”
Watch Debi Jackson dispel the myths about transgender people and her family in the video below: