This past August, Coudersport, PA resident Robert Wagner convened a “Bible Believing Christian” forum at the Coudersport Public Library at which he threatened to violently attack transgender individuals with a baseball bat.
Forum “special guest” Diane Gramley, whose Venango County-based American Family Association of Pennsylvania regularly plants seeds of suspicion about the dangers posed by “men who think they are women,” Gramley's disparaging term for transgender females, condoned Wagner's incitement without a word of protest.
(The American Family Association, parent organization of the AFAofPA, was recently designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization.)
A video of this verbal assault, which attracted national media attention, can be viewed here:
Each November, the world commemorates the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time to mourn and honor the many transgender lives tragically cut short by hatred, fear, and violence.
We are writing this open letter to call on Wagner and Gramley to take responsibility for the consequences of their rhetoric, publicly apologize for their remarks, and denounce anti-transgender bullying, discrimination and violence.
We also urge readers to raise their voices with others in the community to express support for the right of all people to live free of fear and discrimination, with dignity and respect, regardless of their actual or perceived gender identity and expression.
Please let your voice be heard by writing a letter-to-the-editor of your local paper and sharing news of your action here on the Out In The Silence blog or the Out In The Silence website.
Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer
OUT IN THE SILENCE Campaign