A disturbing video of a mother deadnaming and misgendering her transgender son has prompted widespread disgust and an outpouring of support for a boy named Alex.
More than 140,000 people signed a petition seeking “justice for Alex” after a teenage boy was subjected to horrific transphobia and public shaming by his own mother.
The woman in question commandeered her son’s TikTok account for the sole purpose of denying his identity to his friends and followers.
Repeatedly misgendering Alex, she instructs viewers to address him by his deadname “or not at all”.
“If you cannot follow [his] mother’s instructions you will be removed out [his] life,” she says in the video (which PinkNews is not including for safeguarding purposes).
“Do you understand that? That goes for every single friend [he] has.”
Woman fired after ‘Justice for Alex’ petition rallies support for trans teen.
The video was shared to Twitter, where members of the LGBT+ and cosplay communities shared messages of solidarity using the hashtag #hisnameisalex.
A petition was also created to raise awareness. According to it, Alex’s mother continued her hate spree by chastising a close friend of her son’s, blocking a number of others, and sharing a second video to his Instagram.
Alex stares blankly in both clips as his mother rages next to him, all the while wearing a t-shirt bearing the name of her employer: the Hungry Bear sandwich shop in Tennessee.
As the video went viral, this small detail proved pivotal. Quickly, the restaurant was bombarded with complaints, prompting it to take swift action.
“Regarding the recent actions of one of our (now terminated) former employees: We heard and responded to the concerns,” read a post on the Hungry Bear Facebook page.
“Their actions never had our support, we definitely wouldn’t condone that behaviour, and not sure why anyone would think that we would.”
The restaurant’s owners stressed that it took decisive action as soon as it learned of its employee’s actions, urging the local community not to judge it her actions.
“The negative reviews, because of someone outside of our business, are damaging our reputation and ability to operate,” it added.
As of Monday (17 August) afternoon, it is unclear if any further action has been taken against the mother. The TikTok account labelled in the video has been deleted.
Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Mermaids on 0808 801 0400 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. Readers in the US are encouraged to contact Trans Lifeline on 877-330-6366 or the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline on 1-800-422-4453.
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