Avery Jackson may be small, but she’s making big changes to empower the transgender community in the Westboro Baptist Church’s neighborhood.
Avery, eight, is a transgender girl who teamed up with Equality House, a rainbow home that promotes LGBT visibility and is owned by non-profit Planting Peace, to make sure trans people have a spot just for them.
Once a year Equality House repaints itself with the colors of the transgender flag; blue, pink and white. It was during this time that Avery made a visit to the location.
Seeing the home so openly support trans people gave Avery a sense of pride. After that she began showing herself in pictures, feeling that she would be accepted as she is.
‘I loved the Rainbow House when it was painted like the transgender flag. I felt so happy and proud to be transgender,’ she said.
Avery Jackson, eight, is a transgender girl who teamed up with Equality House to create a center for transgender people in Topeka, Kansas
Moved by how affected Avery was by Equality House’s temporary make over, Planting Peace decided to start the process of purchasing the house next to them – directly across from the Westboro Baptist Church – and permanently painting it the colors of the trans flag.
Not only did Planting Peace plan for the house to bear the colors of the trans flag, but they also wanted the home to become a safe center for trans people in the Topeka, Kansas, community.
Planting Peace, a non-profit that owns Equality House, bought the home next door to them to turn into the new center
Avery got the idea for the center after visiting Equality House, which is across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church
Equality House is a rainbow home that promotes visibility, and once a year the facility is repainted the colors of the transgender flag
But first the non-profit needed to raise the money to purchase the neighboring house. A fundraiser on Planting Peace’s site raised just over $11,000 – about $60,000 short of buying the house. That’s where Martin Dunn stepped in.
Dunn, a New York City developer, fund the $70,000 project after reading about Avery’s fight for a transgender center. ‘The idea was to create something that was a very visible symbol of acceptance and pride. The idea that it would be across from a hate group was also really appealing.’
When Avery visited the home during its stint with the blue, pink and white colors, she was overjoyed that there was such support for people like her
She began showing her face in pictures after the visit. Equality House was so moved by this that they decided to make Avery’s dream of a place for people just like her a reality
Planting Peace began working toward purchasing the house next door to them (pictured, right) so they could paint it
Martin Dunn, a New York City developer, gave Planting Peace $70,000 to build Avery’s dream center next to Equality House
‘I have three children and if I had a kid that was transgender I would want a place that would celebrate them and accept them. That’s just not available in this country and it should be,’ Dunn told the New York Daily News.
Avery said Dunn has made her dream come true.
‘I was worried that having a transgender house was just a dream, but now it’s finally real. I love the transgender flag. It’s beautiful and makes me smile. I’m happy that we will have a house painted like the flag to show that transgender people are beautiful and will make them smile,’ she said.
Equality House and the new transgender center (pictured, prior to painting) are right across the street and in plane view of the Westboro Baptist Chruch
Aaron Jackson, the president of Planting Peace, said if the Westboro Baptist Church (pictured) responds to the new facility with hate, they will be met with even louder love
So far the Westboro Baptist Church, notorious for inflammatory protests of soldiers’ funerals and picketing with signs that boast hateful messages, hasn’t reacted publicly to the house.
Aaron Jackson, the president of Planting Peace, told the Daily News the transgender community will meet every sign and every negative statement with louder love. ‘We need to fight for the right for all people to live freely and love freely without fear,’ said Jackson.