Column attacking trans child published in Purcellville Gazette

The following column was published in the April 11 edition of the Purcellville Gazette after the editor, Kim Weber, was warned that it was riddled with known defamatory falsehoods and endangered a child. Ms. Weber was offered assistance and education by two different individuals in the community with expertise in this area, and failed to respond to those offers. The email from Equality Loudoun is reproduced below.

After being contacted by the child’s family’s attorney and others, Ms. Weber pulled the column from the Purcellville Gazette website. However, the same personally identifying information (redacted here) appears in the print edition of the paper, now distributed all over western Loudoun.

The column was also published earlier on a local political blog, “The Bull Elephant,” by Republican activist Jeanine Martin. It was sent to her by Delegate David LaRock (and initially attributed to him). We do not link to it here because it also contains the personal information endangering the child. The comments to that blog post follow at the end.

The removal of the online article by Ms. Weber constitutes acknowledgement of her poor judgment in publishing it. Unfortunately, she is unable to retract the print edition that has been distributed to, by the Gazette’s own estimation, “over 40,000 readers.” Other measures will be required to address the damage done by this entirely avoidable error in judgment.

Contact information:

Publisher & Editor-In-Chief: Kim Pregartner-Weber
Editor@PurcellvilleGazette.com.
Phone: 540.431.8507

Mailing Address:
PO Box 65
Purcellville, VA 20134

Physical Address:
130 North 21st Street
Purcellville, VA 20132

Email from Equality Loudoun, (April 7, 2015):

Dear Kim,

I suspect that Mr. Markert submitted a version of this defamatory garbage for publication in your newspaper. It was brought to my attention by a Republican candidate who found it appalling. My hope is that it has already been rejected as unsuitable for a responsible publication, and that is why it has now been published on a blog (although he has used your paper as his credential).

In America, we do not punish an entire category of person because the ignorance of others leads them to fear that a member of that category might theoretically do something wrong. This is a child. She has been publicly called by members of the Stafford community “it,” a “freak on a leash,” and other similar terms implying that she is not human. This child and her family now have to fear for her safety because of the behavior of people like Charles Markert. Here is just a brief list of the outright falsehoods contained in his disgusting smear job, in which he repeatedly slurs her by referring to her as “he” and “a boy”:

“Transgenderism” is not a word.

The condition of being a transgender person, i.e., having a medical intersex condition that results in the wrong gender assignment at birth, is NOT “classified as a mental disorder.”

[Name redacted] is a girl, not a boy. She has been diagnosed by a medical team with expertise in this condition. This is not a matter of “wanting” to “self-identify as a girl” any more than for any other girl, and is not subject to others’ opinion or so-called “disagreement.”

There is nothing “experimental” about school policies that acknowledge the medical reality of students like [Name redacted]. There are jurisdictions that have had such policies in place for years.

Kevin Jennings is not a member of “NAMBLA.” That one sounds legally actionable and should alone be grounds for rejection. I will be contacting Mr. Jennings shortly.

Gender identity (neurological gender) has absolutely nothing to do with sex, sexuality, pornography, or sexual misconduct by anyone.

There has never been an instance of a trans person “violating the privacy” of or posing a threat to anyone else in a public restroom. There has similarly never been an instance of a man or a boy falsely claiming to be a trans woman or girl in order to gain access to a female restroom, another common lie deployed by the Charles Markerts of the world. To the contrary, it is trans people who are frequently the victims of harassment and violence at the hands of people who are misinformed and frightened by hit pieces such as this.

The lies in this piece are the equivalent of lies about racial and religious minorities from an earlier era that I know you and any other responsible publisher would instantly recognize as outside the boundaries of legitimate debate and unprintable. Trans kids are at a tremendously elevated risk for suicide because exactly this kind of defamation convinces them that things will never get better. Leelah Alcorn committed suicide because her parents were influenced by misinformation like this. Google her. There are trans children attending Loudoun schools and they don’t deserve to be subjected to this. What they need is protection from such people and to have the adults around them educated. I would be happy to work with you on this.

I’m still waiting to hear from you about that meeting. I won’t have my community abused.

Best regards,
David Weintraub
Equality Loudoun

Column by Charles Markert as published in the Purcellville Gazette, April 11 2015, with personal identifying information about the child redacted:

It’s Just Common Sense: Virginia Schools Set To Make a Transgender Policy Change

By Charles D. Markert.

Virginia Schools are poised to make a transgender policy change without even consulting parents. Before you yield to that impulse to write this off, think again. It is too important not to have an opinion. In Virginia, and all across America, promoters of the homosexual agenda claim to be opposing bullying, discrimination, intolerance, inequality, and abuse of individual rights, but in reality they are guilty of all the above.

Every once in a while though they push too far too fast and some brave people say no. That recently happened in [Name of school redacted] in nearby Stafford County, Virginia, when a [grade redacted] boy, [Name redacted], decided “he” wanted to “self-identify as a girl” and was allowed to dress as a girl in class, including make-up, jewelry, and high heels: excessive for any [redacted] grader. The school came up with a plan to allow him to use two different single restrooms in the school. But for those who want transgenderism to be accepted and embraced by everyone as normal that was discriminatory, so the school granted [Name redacted] access to the same bathroom the girls use.

In this case and many others, the discrimination is flipped around and targeted against other students who said they disagreed. At least one female student who disagreed with the new school policy was told she could use the girls bathroom after everyone else to accommodate her discomfort with this new policy. The young girls who disagreed with the special treatment of [Name redacted] which compromised their privacy, got a dose of what happens when clear thinking collides with the politically correct thinking on the meaning of tolerance, discrimination, and individual rights. They became the targets of discrimination for not embracing the gender biased policy formed to coddle kids whose behavior is classified in psychiatric journals as a mental disorder.

Fortunately Stafford parents spoke out and the policy was quickly reversed.

Closer to home, the Fairfax County School Board intends to make a similar move in the next few weeks. Unless parents speak out against this social experiment the nonsense will come to Fairfax schools and perhaps Loudoun will be next? The pretense for this social experiment is to provide protection for kids from bullying, but it ignores the fact that current school policies and Virginia laws already prohibit all forms of bullying.

Many schools are encouraging children to embrace and even indulge in behavior that is counter to their individual beliefs and those of their families. This is part of a broad conspiracy which violates individual rights in the name of tolerance. Across the country more and more schools are teaching children very inappropriate and explicit information about sex, and at very young ages. There has been a massive push by groups like the Gay Lesbian Straight Educational Network to push homosexuality into our schools. In Fact, one of the leading members of GLSEN, Kevin Jennings, the safe school czar appointed by Obama, has all but admitted a need to infiltrate our schools by saying that one of the biggest challenges the gay movement faces is recruiting young people to the movement. They were able to infiltrate by using words like homophobia, or using AIDS education as a cover. Parents need to wake up and speak out to demand that we keep education the focus of schools and not promoting sexuality that many find offensive for good reason. Parents do not send kids to school to be exposed to these bizarre distractions and potentially dangerous experiments. Unless parents speak, out these policies will come to Fairfax schools and then Loudoun schools. What value do we put on the safety and wellbeing of our children? If you choose not to speak up, our children will pay the price.

Stay vigilant my friends.

Comments to Purcellville Gazette column as of 2:00 pm, April 11:

Discussion

11 Responses to “It’s Just Common Sense: Virginia Schools Set To Make a Transgender Policy Change”

Mr. Markert -This child (whose name you had no right printing) doesn’t “want” to be a girl or didn’t decide to be a girl, she IS a girl. Being transgender is medical not psychological. Gender is not the same thing as sexuality. Next time please do proper research before you print an article. And yes, we will stay vigilant.

Posted by Gail Boone | April 11, 2015, 1:52 pm
Reply to this comment

Absolutely true. However, it is the Editor/Publisher of this newspaper who is responsible for fact-checking and rejecting submissions that do not merit publication. As pointed out below, Kim Weber was provided with corrections to the factually inaccurate nonsense in this piece. She is the one who will ultimately be held accountable for publishing a combination of known defamatory falsehoods and personally identifying information about a minor child. This was a profoundly irresponsible act that was entirely avoidable.

Posted by David Weintraub | April 11, 2015, 2:01 pm
Reply to this comment


To the author of this piece ~ Quoting this: “… whose behavior is classified in psychiatric journals as a mental disorder….” ~ uhm, no, actually, it is NOT. That diagnostic categorization was removed from the DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, most recent/current edition).by the APA in 2012. If one is going to attempt to provide proof of their position, one should be able to do so with actual facts. If, by “scientific journals” you are referencing publications that support conversion therapy, those are being discredited as harmful, religiously-biased materials that do not have any real science backing them up. As a professional counselor, I find your misrepresentation of the “facts” quite disturbing.

Being transgender is not a disease, disorder, nor a fabrication. It is not sinful, either. Being a theologian and scholar of spiritual and religious scriptures/texts, I have yet to locate ANY passages that declare such a thing. Oh yes, and equating gender identity with sexuality and sexual orientation is simply wrong; they are not at all the same thing; they are separate facets of our beings. Transgender people, unless they actually identify such, are not gay people. They are not driven by depraved urges. Their sexuality is not the motive for changing their bodies ~ aligning with their actual gender identity so as to live the fullest, most authentic life that they can, IS. To harbor neurotic, paranoid thoughts about some imaginary “gay (or trans) agenda” (really??!) and to suspect any and every trans person of being a pervert is a sadly fear-driven perspective that perpetuates hatred, ignorance, divisiveness, and violence.

Anyone who wants to wage a war of “values” over this, claiming to be be in the right and holding the moral “high ground” because their “values” justify cultivating fear, resentment, and aggression towards a whole segment of the population (be it the gay and/or transgender population)… sorry, but i think that there is a failure there to understand what “righteousness” truly is.

Fear-mongering and manipulation under the guise of “protection” ~ claiming to be the victim while being an oppressor ~ are we, as humans, and as a society, STILL playing these games? How sad.

Posted by Adam Lodestone | April 11, 2015, 12:58 pm
Reply to this comment

Beautifully said, Adam Lodestone. Thank you.

Posted by Alison Boissonnas | April 11, 2015, 1:47 pm
Reply to this comment


James Randle
Arlington

I find this article well-intentioned, but ultimately wrong. Science is coming to show what many cultures have understood or hundreds of years: that gender identity and biological sex are not linked 1-to-1.

Most people will never encounter a dissonance between their outer sex and their gender; this is called being cisgender.

For some others, the gender a person feels they are (current thinking suggests this is a combination of brain chemistry and psychology) and their outward sex do not match; there are variations, but in general this is called being transgender.

It does credit to this phenomena, this very real human experience, that even at a young age individuals can identify as trans. Perceiving society’s model for “male” and “female,” and having the self-awareness to express for themselves where in the mix they belong, transgender people should be supported.

For perspective’s sake, the cultures that accept the reality of transgederism include the oh-so-liberal Islamic Republic of Iran. In our own homeland, Native Americans have been aware of non-binary sexuality and transgederism for a very long time – longer, I might add, than we have been a country.

I don’t think ad-hominem attacks are helpful in advancing discussions like this one, so I will refrain from labeling the author with unflattering words. However, I will say this: I find the opinion he has expressed and the policy recommendations he advocates to be despicable.

Virginia can do better.

Posted by James Michael Randle | April 11, 2015, 12:21 pm
Reply to this comment


I’m fairly certain that this “newspaper” doesn’t have a fact checker. First and foremost, the fact that so much fear-mongering and blatantly inaccurate reporting is even published is irresponsible beyond words. You are talking about a CHILD with a MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS, there is no reasonable explanation for printing this garbage other than to engender fear from people unwilling to educate themselves. If you really want to protect children, protect all of them. Do some research and try publishing some facts rather than this…whatever it is. Transgender kids are just like every other kid, they go in the bathroom to GO TO THE BATHROOM. I don’t know what this guy is doing in there but noone I know goes sightseeing in a restroom.

Posted by Tristan Linquist | April 11, 2015, 12:20 pm
Reply to this comment


This has nothing to do with “common sense;” it is a matter of law. Refusing a student who self-identifies as female to use the girl’s restroom is a violation under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which “protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive Federal financial assistance….” Recent guidance from the US Department of Education has confirmed that such includes transgender students… and legally always has. A student CANNOT be required to use a private restroom either, though a child may be given the OPTION to do so.

If we put any value on the “safety and wellbeing of our children,” that includes ALL children.

Posted by PFLAG of Winchester and the Lower Shenandoah Valley | April 11, 2015, 11:56 am
Reply to this comment

While we recognize that this is an “opinion” piece, we are tremendously concerned that virtually every sentence in this article is wrong factually, morally, ethically, and/or legally.

Posted by PFLAG of Winchester and the Lower Shenandoah Valley | April 11, 2015, 12:20 pm
Reply to this comment


Please spell “optional” correctly following “Leave a Reply”.

Posted by Kimberly LaFave | April 11, 2015, 11:42 am
Reply to this comment


Statistics and facts were provided to the Purcellville Gazette, and it chose to ignore them and instead run this defamatory and inaccurate article. No examples of transgender people attacking others in bathrooms exist in the United States. None. What is true is that transgender people are the most discriminated against, most assaulted, and most murdered identifiable group on the planet.

The Purcellville Gazette has decided that facts don’t matter and that spreading baseless hate speech does. I once had a Scout ask me how the Nazi’s turned so many people against the Jews when the case against them was so fantastic and crazy…here is an example of how it was done.

Connie Rice Leesburg, Virginia

Posted by Connie Rice | April 11, 2015, 11:38 am
Reply to this comment

Exactly right, Connie. I agree completely.

Posted by Katie Neville | April 11, 2015, 11:53 am
Reply to this comment

Comments to the same column, published on the blog “The Bull Elephant” on April 5, 2015 (as of April 13, 5:30 pm the post is still online with the personal information intact.):

9 Comments
The Bull Elephant

Join the discussion…

bleufishcat • 6 days ago
Wanting to use the loo in privacy isn’t bullying. How come the trans kid isn’t seen as the bully for pushing his way into the girls bathroom? ONE kid parts the sea?! Come on!


Liz • 6 days ago
Thanks to Susan Stimpson, who is running against Speaker Bill Howell, for bringing this issue into the spotlight. Bill Howell seems to have taken a lot of money from Equality VA, which is promoting this kind of thing. Voters need to know more about their candidates and what their actions when it comes to issues like these. #weknowbill #wearenotimpressed


David Dickinson • 6 days ago
30 miles to the north, a couple of free-range parents found themselves being interviewed by the police and threatened by Child Protective Services for letting their kids walk a mile home from a museum.
But here we have a couple of parents who are abusing their own child by pushing their deluded concepts onto this poor 4th grader. Here is a clear case where CPS needs to get involved and save this kid from further harm. Instead, we are having an absurd public debate.


Matt Leeds • 6 days ago
I’m another day closer to my head exploding. The more I hear about what is promulgated and goes on in the public schools, the closer I come to believing I’ve been transported back to 1st Century Rome and the rule of Caligula. There will be no doubt if a horse makes it onto the ballot for school board. 20 years ago, I didn’t like what was going on in the Fairfax County public schools and decided my children would be home schooled; a prescient decision. What happened to schools teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic? Now it’s degeneracy, cross dressing, and perversion. Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, I think we’ve done you proud.


lisalake • 6 days ago
Some one tell Virginia that when a tranny dies and/or gets DNA tested to identify the body… they will still be the gender they were born with.


Catherine Stone McNickle • 6 days ago
I hope the LC School Board is researching what the current policy is on this issue, and starting discussions on whether or not the policy needs to be revisited.


Reinhardt Reganbacker lll • 5 days ago
Please don’t give these people the platform they so desperately are seeking.

However, do not forget to give me the platform I am seeking!


Disappointed In LaRock • 6 days ago
Does Mr. LaRock have any citations or is this just HIS religion speaking?

“They became the targets of discrimination for not embracing the gender biased policy formed to coddle kids whose behavior is classified in psychiatric journals as a mental disorder.”

The Bulletproof Monk -> Disappointed In LaRock • 6 days ago
It is most definitely a mental disorder. Case in point is a man who became a woman, but found it didn’t make him any happier…so he turned around and sued the doctor for not talking him out of it. They ain’t playin with a full deck.

Both websites have been captured, and screenshots are available on request.

This entry was posted in Advocacy, News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *