A new bus in New York City spreads ignorance and transphobic messages. Transgender advocate and A Wider Bridge’s Israel Mission alumna Hannah Simpson had the chance to visit this eyesore in person on Thursday, as it sat parked near the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan.
Growing up, the big yellow “Magic School Bus” symbolized the wonders of the world around us. It sprouted rockets to visit the stars, became a submarine to cross oceans and could shrink to enter a human body. However, there’s a new bus in town, and the bright orange monstrosity is certainly not about opening anyone’s eyes. In fact, it’s trying to do quite the opposite.
The “Magic Fool Bus,” as I’ve coined it — because it deliberately spreads ignorance — is touring the East Coast this week to spout its anti-transgender message from Boston to Washington, D.C. Each side of the bus reads, “It’s Biology: Boys are boys… and always will be. Girls are girls… and always will be. You can’t change sex. Respect all.” The message also calls on passersby to “Sign Now To Defend Freedom of Speech” and provides the web address www.FreeSpeechBus.com.
The organizers of the U.S. bus tour are the notoriously anti-LGBTQ National Organization for Marriage (NOM) along with the International Organization for the Family (IOF) and CitizenGo. The U.S. campaign closely resembles one launched in Spain last month, which was put together by CitizenGO and local religious extremist group Hazte Oir (Make Yourself Heard). Spain’s “Magic Fool Bus” is currently under investigation for violating the country’s anti-discrimination laws.