Transgender activist and reality star Jazz Jennings has responded to Derick Dillard’s transphobic tweets aimed at her, and she is going high à la Michelle Obama.
Dillard, husband of Jill Duggar and star of TLC’s Counting On, attacked Jennings with a series of tweets on Wednesday, calling out both her TV show and her gender identity.
“What an oxymoron…” he tweeted in response to TLC’s promotional tweet of I Am Jazz, “a ‘reality’ show which follows a non-reality. ‘Transgender’ is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it’s ordained by God.”
When a Twitter user challenged him, asking: “Is it necessary for a grown man to throw shade at a teenage girl?” Dillard replied, “I want to be clear. I have nothing against him. I only have issue with the words and definitions being propagated here.”
I want to be clear. I have nothing against him. I only have issue with the words and definitions being propagated here.
— Derick Dillard (@derickmdillard) August 3, 2017
In this response, Dillard not only slammed the transgender community, but he also intentionally misgendered the teen in an effort to erase her identity.
On Thursday, Jennings responded to the tweets in the classiest manner.
“Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story,” the 16-year-old wrote, “Today was no different.”
Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story. Today was no different.
— Jazz Jennings (@JazzJennings__) August 3, 2017
TLC released a statement to People promising that Dillard’s views in no way represent the views of TLC, and people on Twitter are throwing their supporting behind Jennings, supporting her for having the courage to be herself.
Thank you for being an incredible role model for young trans kids like my daughter. You have an army of mama bears behind you! pic.twitter.com/nMGGyFzaCi
— Jamie Bruesehoff (@jamiebruesehoff) August 3, 2017
Dear sweet girl. You're wise beyond your years and one damn strong woman! Keep your chin up, stay positive, & "F" the haters! Youre amazing!
— 🔮⚾Jenney Foley⚾🔮 (@IrishRedSox77) August 4, 2017
Jennings’ response is powerful both because it shows her poise and because it suggests just how often people in the transgender community are misgendered and bullied just for daring to be who they are.