|Leah, a transgender student at South Panola High School.|
With the support of the Mississippi ACLU, a student who is only being identified as "Leah" took the first steps Monday toward beginning her transition by dressing according to her gender, Mississippi ACLU Director Bear Atwood told WBTV News.
Teachers and staff were supportive, and fellow classmates even showed support for Leah by wearing green and pink.
"He's like any other student at South Panola, he minds his business, he's not hurting anyone," classmate Jabrea Joiner said. "He's only wanting to be himself."
Joiner added, "I know there was a lot going on, people had a lot to say in the classroom, but I just feel like it's not my position to judge anyone."
Unfortunately, many parents and adults from the area felt it was indeed their position to judge. Many are planning to protest and complain at the upcoming school board meeting. The "Prayers for South Panola School District" page was launched Tuesday morning. Its description was as follows:
"This page is set up to form a Christian based group to pray for our school's administration, board members, principles, teachers and students. It's time to STEP UP and put CHRIST back in our schools where he belongs!"Apparently, part of "putting Christ back in our schools" includes ascribing to Jesus the role of "Bully in Chief." Why else would a bunch of adults create and use a page to, in the name of Christian values, target a single high school student for harassment and blame that student for the downfall of moral, godly society?
Ryan Moss posted and explained:
"This page isnt for bashing a single student. its for the people who have strong belief in the Lord and what he does for us that created this page. the incident that happened yesterday was just an example of not only the governments power but the power of satan."When asked what the "incident" was (since Ryan claimed the page wasn't for bashing a single student), Ryan responded that the incident was about "The cross dressing student who has not yet become a transgender person being in schools with other parents kids."
Judy Jones Smith, in a separate post on the page, explained, "I am not heartless, but just because he 'feels' like a girl, doesn't make him a girl. I believe God still sees him as a young man and God loves him, and I do too, but I do not have to like his lifestyle..."
To Judy and others who think like Judy, I say this: Just because you "feel" like you're being "loving" and just because you feel like you're being "Christian" doesn't make you loving nor does it make you Christian. Not when your actions so obviously portray otherwise.
You can show your support for Leah by joining the much more loving, much more Christian page, Mississippians Support Leah.
Update: "Mississippians Support Leah" now has over 700 likes (and will surely have more by the time you're reading this), while the hate page, "Prayers for Panola School District," has 430. While the faux-prayer page is overloaded with hateful comments in the name of religion, "Mississippians Support Leah" is overflowing with love, kindness, and support for Leah from all around the world. Some of the comments are truly tear jerking.
This is the second time in two weeks that anti-LGBT efforts in Mississippi have been met by a far greater outpouring of love and kindness from all across the state, the country, and world. Together, we do big things. Love conquers hate. ♥