Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Source: X / Twitter (blondebigot11) and Facebook (Joanna Evenson)
A British Columbia art teacher has been facing a harassment campaign since far-right social media accounts began targeting them in late November because they identify as transgender and nonbinary.
Wilson Wilson, who uses they/them pronouns, is an art teacher at a secondary school in Pitt Meadows, BC, as well as a working artist with exhibitions and shows across Vancouver.
On November 22, an account on X, formerly Twitter, under the username Blonde Bigot, posted about the “transgender art teacher” at her child’s school. In the post, she included a screenshot of a text message exchange with her child, in which Blonde Bigot refers to the school as a “communist shit hole.”
The next day, under a post condemning COVID-19 vaccines for students, Blonde Bigot told another account, “it’s the same [school district] that has the transgender art teacher who posts photos of [themselves] topless.”
CAHN has independently identified Blonde Bigot, through social media accounts and pictures of herself under her own name, as Joanna Evenson from Edmonton.
On her X profile, Evenson identifies as “A little further to the right than the far-right extremists.” She recently posted an image citing both the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory that has animated multiple mass murderers and the infamous Nazi slogan “Blood and Soil.” Multiple social media posts suggest that she supports the Diagolon network.
Also on November 23, the massive anti-trans account Libs of TikTok posted about Wilson: “This is a middle school teacher in @PittSecondary. [They identify] as trans nonbinary and has a public Instagram where [they] shows off [their] double mastectomy scars while topless.”
Editor’s note: Quotes inside the square brackets have been changed to respect Wilson’s preferred pronouns.
The post includes screenshots from Wilson’s art Instagram account, which they use to share their artwork and provide updates about shows and exhibits. Wilson kept this account separate from, and it did not refer to, their position as an art teacher at Pitt Meadows Secondary School. The school board confirmed that Wilson did not violate their policies on social media usage.
Libs of TikTok is an X account run by former New York realtor Chaya Raichik who is known for targeting 2SLGBTQ+ school staff throughout the world.
Reviewing bomb and death threats at schools in multiple states in 2023, USA Today found that “The victim of each threat had also been targeted, in the days before, by the enormously popular conservative social media channel Libs of TikTok.” Despite this, Raichik regularly rebuffs accusations that her posts result in harm and threats.
Evenson explained in a comment under the Libs of TikTok post that she had been “pressing for written documentation for accountability and they didn’t want to do it. So here we are.” In another post, she says she had been emailing the school for a month.
Both Evenson and Libs of TikTok posted a screenshot of what is allegedly an email from Evenson to the school’s principal dated October 26, 2023. In the email Evenson accuses Wilson of mistreating students: “Furthermore, it has since come to my attention that [they have] yelled at and hauled kids, including my own daughter, into the hallway for mistakenly referring to [them] as Ms. Wilson.”
When speaking to CAHN, Wilson – who is currently not working – said that Evenson’s child is not in any of their classes, and says that Evenson is lying.
Wilson is concerned that these allegations will follow them in their career. “It’s an easy thing to say about me because it's my first year teaching,” says Wilson. “It's easy to say about a teacher without an established career or reputation. It's really gross.”
“My philosophy about teaching is that children are human and not always treated that way in school. In their childhood there are so many areas where they don’t have agency, or control, or choice and I want my classroom to be a space that centres them. I have a philosophy where they get to participate in their own choice making and how they express themselves. I build a curriculum like a frame where they fill it. All along the way I don’t want to rob them of feeling like their own person. So it makes me feel super gross that I'm reading that I dragged them out and I've yelled at them because it just violates my practice and my belief. It’s untrue.”
A statement from the Maple Ridge Teachers’ Association that was sent to all school staff and provided to CAHN reiterates that Wilson has been falsely accused.
“In the last week one of our own has been publicly and maliciously attacked. They have been a target of hate and online harassment that has rapidly spread to the community. This is a matter of concern not only because the individual is a member of a vulnerable group but is being falsely accused; this deliberately undermines, devalues, and impacts their professional practice and identity as a trans non-binary teacher. Furthermore, it has led to threats of violence and endangerment. This affects their safety, those in the LGBTQI+ community and that of the school. It further undermines and harms members in our education community who similarly identify as LGBTQI+, including the very students we are entrusted to protect,” the statement reads.
“This has resulted in them feeling unsafe at work, vulnerable to attack in the community, and has had severe impacts on their ability to interact within their art community. Both from the perspective of the Union and the Employer, any of these accusations are completely baseless.”
On November 28, both Libs of TikTok and Evenson posted on X that the school informed the RCMP about the issue. According to Evenson, the police cautioned her saying her posts could result in her arrest.
On December 2, Evenson posted a screenshot of an email she alleges is from the school, dated December 1, stating that Wilson’s Instagram account does not violate school policy. School District 42 – which includes Pitt Meadows Secondary School – also published a statement on December 1.
“As the Board of Education for the district, we want to state firmly and unequivocally that this employee has our full and unreserved support. As a board, in line with the provincial joint statement on safe, caring and inclusive schools, we also wish to reaffirm our resolute commitment to fostering and maintaining learning and working environments that are inclusive and respectful of the diverse social and cultural needs of our community.”
The statement goes on to say, “Over the course of this week, this attack broadened to include other district employees and the school district itself.”
On December 21, Evenson and others held a protest outside the school district office. In video clips posted by Evenson to X, adults can be heard mocking a young person who appears to be gender non-conforming and claiming the young person is mentally ill when they confronted the group. The adults can also be heard mockingly referring to the gender non-conforming youth as “neurodivergent.” A man can be heard on a megaphone saying gender “isn’t a feeling, it isn’t a man wearing womens’ clothing prancing around like a fairy,” while the woman filming chuckles.
Evenson’s posts refer to the young person who confronted them as an “unhinged trans person,” tagging the Libs of TikTok account, even though in another post, Evenson referred to them as a “child."
On November 30, Evenson spoke to far-right content creator Lauren Southern. In a video posted to YouTube, Southern says that Evenson just wanted Wilson to make their art Instagram account private so students could not access it and that Evenson does not want Wilson to lose their job. Evenson’s posts to X, however, paint a picture of contempt and cruelty toward Wilson and the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
“I just want kids to go to school without being groomed by monsters,” she wrote on November 23 in response to the Libs of TikTok post. She has also repeatedly targeted the school district on X, including encouraging her followers to harass the district, and referring to the district’s “child grooming and pedophilic activities.”
Labeling 2SLGBTQ+ people “groomers” and “pedophiles” – the insidious lie that members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and specifically trans people, are sexual predators – has increased in the last two years. According to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a non-profit organization which studies extremism, “the use of the term ‘groomer’ is used to justify hate, discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ+ community.” Earlier this month Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice ruled that the use of the “groomer” slur “[perpetuates] hurtful myths and stereotypes about vulnerable members in our society.”
“I think [they have] a choice to make. Either be a teacher, or an artist that glorifies self-mutilation, not both,” Evenson wrote about Wilson on X.
In response to Evenson’s post including the emails from the school, one X user wrote, “Back in the good ol days, perverts like this were taught a lesson in the parking lot by the parents, and would never return in the classroom.”
“Yes. #BringBackBullying,” Evenson replied.
Bullying seems to feature prominently in Evenson’s posts, specifically regarding members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. In a post from late November about another individual, Evenson posted screenshots targeting a person she says is trans. “Nice, think I’m gonna troll him for a bit,” one person responds.
“That’s what I was hoping for. We need to bring back bullying,” Evenson says.
In a post from the summer, Evenson mocks a person who appears to be trans. When someone encourages Evenson to not give trans people attention, she replies “You're right, but I love bullying them! There is so little joy left in Canada…”
Posts by other users on X responding to the posts about Wilson include references to suicide and death.
“Don’t worry if you play the long game the post op suicide rate is off the charts. Be patient,” reads one. Another says, “Should have been 1 cut 2 inches bellow [sic] the chin.”
CAHN reached out to Evenson prior to publication. In response to our questions, Evenson posted on X that she would not answer our questions, adding, "I regret nothing."
Despite the toll and trauma that such attacks cause on school professionals, Wilson has a call to action for supporters.
“People hold allyship with an identity instead of as a verb. I have to have courage every day. I’m strong every day. For allies, when you're facing that conflict—when it would be uncomfortable to say something or to challenge something—have the courage. If you never speak up or put your own feelings or voice at risk to your allyship then you're just protecting yourself. Allyship is taking action.”