Nothing could be further from the truth.
Jazz Jennings, a transgender girl whose wise and informed (or willing to learn, anyway) parents permitted and encouraged her to live life as her true self from the age of 2 years, is no stranger to the public limelight. This brave young woman has been featured in documentary specials, appeared on talk shows, and shared her story with Barbara Walters on 20/20 in the past. She signed a deal with TLC for her own reality show, debuting in August 2015, in March of this year.
The allegations against Josh Dugger, since confirmed by the Duggar family, that he committed sex crimes against and number of younger girls, including at least two of his sisters, did not come to public light until May of this year. The last time I checked, March comes before May in the standard calendar.
TLC had planned to air both "All That Jazz" and "19 Kids and Counting" in the same lineup. They air a wide variety of shows, from toddling tiaras to hillbillies with attitude. Fitting Jazz into the lineup really wasn't an issue for them.
To Hypocrite or Not to Hypocrite - That is the Question
The author of the article goes on to say that punishing the entire Duggar family for the actions of one family member doesn't seem reasonable. Does it escape her attention that TLC isn't punishing anyone? They are looking out for their bottom line. You know, the one with all the dollar signs. The public outcry against parents, JimBob and Michelle Duggar, was the result of their hypocrisy on several levels. The viewers weren't in the mood to watch anymore.
The Duggars portrayed themselves as the perfect parents. In fact, their first television special centered around Michelle receiving the Mother of the Year Award from the Governor's Office in Arkansas. Fifteen kids (and counting) and she was still the best damn mom in the state! How does she do it? How does she keep everything organized and, Holy Cow Batman, she home schools all those kids! She keeps the house clean, and the larder full with dozens of shopping carts in a single trip to the supermarket. The kids all wear clean, second-hand clothing, and...
...and she keeps them all safe...
<Insert crickets here.>
No, she didn't. She didn't keep all of her children safe because two of her daughters were being abused by their older brother.
Fast-forward and few years, a few more babies, and we find ourselves listening to a robocall Michelle Duggar recorded for the sole purpose of repealing a non-discrimination ordinance in her hometown. The city council had passed a law protecting LGBT folks from being discriminated against in the public square and Michelle and her husband found it deplorable. They [they, because Michelle does nothing without the permission of her husband] told people via telephone recording that this law would allow rapists and child molesters disguised as women to watch their daughters change clothes at the local pool, or go to the bathroom in public restrooms.
Nevermind the fact that if a rapist or child molester had such intentions, they would do so anyway, regardless of whether a city ordinance "allowed" them in those facilities, a transgender woman is not a child molester. A transgender woman is not a rapist.
Even more appalling is the fact that Michelle Duggar made this recording and incited this fear and hatred knowing full well that her own non-transgender son was, in fact, a child molester; both incestuous and non-familial.
That, my dear reader, is a hypocrite. That, my dear reader, is why their show was cancelled. Because the average viewer just couldn't take that level of hypocrisy. Had the Duggars created a television spectacle about raising a quiverfull of kids, making ends meet without going into debt, and healing their family from familial sexual abuse, they would still be on the air. Had they been honest from the beginning, none of this would be an issue for them.
And from a bottom-line-dollar-sign point of view, TLC would have still made a mint.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Jazz Jennings and her family, at least as far as we know, have been nothing but forthcoming. They don't paint a rosy picture of raising a transgender daughter. They don't sugar-coat anything. They have discussed the concerns they had when Jazz was younger, and even now Jazz is perfectly honest that being transgender isn't some glamorous foray into sequin gowns and makeup tips. She's a teenager now and at a time when she should be writing in her diary about her first crush, she is telling the world how damn-near impossible it will be for her date anyone; because the boys are afraid someone will think they are gay.
The author of the AFA blog entry seems to think that TLC has chosen to highlight a confused, physically abused "boy" who is suffering emotionally because of the abuse "his" parents have heaped on "him." Why? Because Jazz has been honest about the issues she faces as a transgender girl.
So, to the AFA, I say, "Shame on you." Shame on you for promoting dishonesty despite your very "Christian" platform. Shame on you for refusing to recognize the very real issues facing our transgender citizens and their struggle. Shame on you for making my daughter's life that much more difficult.
And thank you Jazz and TLC for making the lives of the people you will touch so much better.