The Other McCain

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NY Times Transgender Columnist Was Accused by Wife of Rape and Abuse

Posted on | May 26, 2016 | 48 Comments

In 2015, Jennifer Marie Russo sought a protection order against her estranged husband Travis Lee Stroud. Ms. Russo, a writer who uses the pen name “Juniper Russo,” and also known as Juniper Russo Tarascio, had married Stroud in 2013 and the couple lived in an apartment in the Chattanooga suburb of Red Bank, Tennessee. In a petition filed July 21, 2015, in Chancery Court of Hamilton County, Tennessee, Ms. Russo alleged that Stroud had engaged in “extreme verbal and psychological abuse” of her daughter from a previous relationship. In her petition, Ms. Russo also alleged that she had been repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped by Stroud, who she said had subjected her to “physical violence.”

Ms. Russo’s accusations against her husband in that case made no headlines, unlike another story six months earlier in January 2015:

Chattanooga transgender woman
lands $100,000 book deal

If Cinderella landed a big book deal instead of a prince, her story might resemble Meredith Russo.
New York-based Flatiron Books, an offshoot of MacMillan, is publishing Russo’s first book, a young adult novel called “If I Was Your Girl.” Russo says she is getting a $100,000 advance for the book, a number backed up by her editor at Flatiron who won’t give an exact number but says it’s six figures.
Editor Amy Einhorn, who oversees Flatiron’s YA division, is the same editor who found “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett and shepherded into print and the top of bestseller lists. It later became a movie that won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Octavia Spencer.
Unlike Cinderella, Russo, 28, never relied on magic to change her life. Russo’s success is due to talent, toil — she supported her writing career with unglamorous jobs ranging from dishwasher to call center aide — and courage. Russo, who grew up in Chattanooga, was born male and began living life as a transgender woman when she became an adult. “If I Was Your Girl” is about a beautiful, intelligent, blonde transgender teen girl who forms a loving bond with a straight male high school football player. The story is set in the Chattanooga area with descriptive details based on Rhea County, where much of Russo’s family still lives.

Travis Lee Stroud, aka “Meredith Russo,” apparently has never faced any criminal charges related to the allegations of abuse and sexual assault made in Jennifer Russo’s 2015 petition for a protection order. However, Stroud had been arrested in Hamilton County, Tennessee, in November 2014, on a charge of “interference with emergency calls.”

Travis Lee Stroud, aka “Meredith Russo,” published a New York Times opinion column Tuesday with the headline, “What It Feels Like to Use the Wrong Bathroom.” That column made no mention of the abuse allegations made against Stroud by Jennifer Russo.

Documents related to the July 2015 protection-order case were posted on the Facebook page of Missi Faulkner, who wrote: “And this is the voice that the New York Times thinks deserves to be heard? A man who assaults women and children? This is disgusting!”

Travis Stroud’s estranged wife, Jennifer Russo, is an advocate of “ecofeminism” and “gender egalitarianism.” While she was pregnant with her son, Ms. Russo wrote on her blog, “My family doesn’t ‘do’ gender norms,” and said she had “realized it’s much harder to encourage boys to live confidently outside of restrictive gender norms,” recommending her “favorite books for, and about, gender-nonconforming boys.”

Judging by photos posted to the @Mer_Squared Twitter account, Stroud/”Russo” has custody of (or at least visitation rights with) a 2-year-old son, Darwin, that he/”she” and Jennifer Russo had together.

An online biography states: “MEREDITH RUSSO was born, raised, and lives in Tennessee. She started living as her true self in late 2013 and never looked back. . . . When she’s not busy writing she can be found . . . raising her two amazing children, Vivian and Darwin.” However, an October 2015 affidavit filed in a Hamilton County circuit court indicates that Stroud/”Russo” was only allowed to see one of the children under the supervision of a relative, who was required to swear that the child would never be left unattended with Stroud/”Russo.”

When his/”her” New York Times column was criticized, Stroud/”Russo” retorted on Twitter: “I have a toddler and an eight year old.”

A Twitter message was sent to Stroud/”Russo,” as well as to his/”her” editors at the New York Times and Flatiron Books, seeking comment about Jennifer Russo’s allegations. No response was received.

(Hat-tip: Cathy Brennan on Twitter.)

UPDATE: Steven Crowder actually had most of this story Wednesday evening, and Cathy Brennan says Gender Trender (@GallusMag on Twitter) deserves credit for helping expose the story.

There may be further developments in the story, but right now, the focus should be on the complete absence of standards at the New York Times.

Young feminist Landen Gambill noted the irony:

Maybe “rape culture” only matters when it involves college boys.



48 Responses to “NY Times Transgender Columnist Was Accused by Wife of Rape and Abuse”

  1. Fail Burton
    May 26th, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

    This is what happens when sci-fi’s anti-bullying LGBT-avenging dinosaur has it’s DNA nostrils set to only kill straight white males. But sci-fi-ville no longer uses our Constitution. They just use Nazi racial theory. Maybe the Times will run another article showing how anyone who pushes back against this madness is a right-wing MRA racist transphobe, just to restore balance in the Force.

  2. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 26th, 2016 @ 2:02 pm

    So we are h8ers for not wanting him in a ladies room?

  3. M. Thompson
    May 26th, 2016 @ 2:09 pm

    I’ve heard of some real lunatics, but this one takes the cake.

    Let those who have no sin, etc.

  4. Jeanette Victoria ?????????
    May 26th, 2016 @ 2:18 pm


  5. Liza
    May 26th, 2016 @ 2:25 pm

    This one is the tip of the ice-berg.

  6. DeadMessenger
    May 26th, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

    In the photo, the daughter looks traumatized. Look at her eyes.

    It’s also telling that they named the boy Darwin. It appears from the mother’s writing that she’d like use him for an experiment in “evolution.”

  7. Steve Skubinna
    May 26th, 2016 @ 4:12 pm

    Again, you do the mentally ill no favors by endorsing and supporting their illness. That is, in fact, the worst thing you can do to them.

    But hey, shove sick people over the cliff and frown accusingly at those who note you’re doing harm. Because they’re haters, not like virtuous you.

    Progressives: destroying lives since the Nineteenth Century, and Proud of It!

  8. robertstacymccain
    May 26th, 2016 @ 4:17 pm

    People familiar with this case are APPALLED that “Meredith” is being hailed as an author of Young Adult ficition.

  9. Fail Burton
    May 26th, 2016 @ 4:28 pm

    They always go where the kids are, which is why you don’t see this in NASCAR or mountain hiking. Too many adults. In fact it’s amazing that with the sudden ballooning of transgender figures they have no interest in anything but themselves. A woman trapped in a man’s body would move on with life and pursue sex-neutral interests.

  10. CrustyB
    May 26th, 2016 @ 4:29 pm

    The funniest line in “Slience Of The Lambs” was when Clarice said “Transsexuals are very passive.” I think about that big CNN tranny psycho threatening to send Ben Shapiro to the hospital and just chuckle to myself.

  11. concern00
    May 26th, 2016 @ 5:23 pm

    When the root of their problems is a mental illness, why is anyone surprised when they act out a little bit?

  12. Anon
    May 26th, 2016 @ 6:09 pm

    I know the mother very well. Travis is an asshole and a rapist but the she has done no harm and is a very loving parent. I don’t know why any “feminist” would publish the name of a rape victim and her children. It’s not the victim’s fault.

    The little girl had always had “crazy eyes”. She’s autistic and makes funny facial expressions. She had trauma when she lived with her stepfather but she’s doing very well now. Her mother got out of the house and got her daughter counseling when Travis abused her.

    I like seeing some accountability for rapists and child abusers but I don’t think this level of victim-blaming is at all appropriate for a feminist blog.

  13. Durasim
    May 26th, 2016 @ 7:44 pm

    Looks like “Meredith” has locked up its tweets.

  14. Fail Burton
    May 26th, 2016 @ 8:03 pm

    That police photo is chilling.

  15. Durasim
    May 26th, 2016 @ 9:30 pm

    If for whatever reason “Meredith” doesn’t work out as a columnist, the Times could always hire Delia Alexis Reich (f/k/a John Mark Karr).

  16. Yisheng Qingwa
    May 26th, 2016 @ 10:24 pm
  17. Yisheng Qingwa
    May 26th, 2016 @ 10:26 pm
  18. Liza
    May 27th, 2016 @ 12:02 am

    And you can bet it is creepy and they will force it in the schools as required reading. The publisher is not eating that 100K advance that this moron already spent on porn. He has a “Go Fund Me Page” and claims to be a “mother” who wants to get “her” adoring children back–a victim of the system and “the man just keeping her down.”

  19. Dana
    May 27th, 2016 @ 2:31 am

    He. Biology 101.

  20. Dana
    May 27th, 2016 @ 2:33 am

    There are no women trapped in men’s bodies. You turn out exactly how your DNA says you’re supposed to turn out, even with epigenetic possibilities involved. Gender not being a biological state, there would be no genetic code for it one way or the other, and gender (masculinity/femininity) is not sex (male/female).

    The entire basis of the transgender argument is essentially a figment of people’s imaginations. There isn’t actually anything wrong with guys wearing dresses, it’s when they decide that means something stupid and unscientific that I have a problem with it. It would seem that both the right and the left have anti-science loonies in attendance. And the center, which is where most liberals are located.

  21. Dana
    May 27th, 2016 @ 2:34 am

    Evolution’s real. Transgender is not real. I’d love to send nearly everyone in this country back to remedial science classes.

  22. Dana
    May 27th, 2016 @ 2:35 am

    The article does not blame the victim and neither do the women who outed this whole situation. A rapist is being hailed as a young-adult-writer hero and that is not right. If the rest of you would step up and quit handling these idiots with kid gloves, some of us wouldn’t need to go to these lengths.

  23. Dana
    May 27th, 2016 @ 2:38 am

    That was back in the ’80s when people declaring themselves transsexual had a bit different demographic than the ones today. Back in those days you could still look forward to your life being ruined if you came out as gay. So a lot of the “transsexuals” were gay men trying to live a normal life. Nowadays the bulk of them are perverts who get off on the idea of themselves as women, a condition called autogynephilia. You’re going to see a lot of misbehavior related to the “trans” thing because it’s part of the fetish. The demographic’s going to change again though, as we’re about to see another crop of gay males coming up through the trans ranks because of “enlightened” parents misinterpreting the beginnings of sexual orientation as “gender identity”. You know how you used to often be able to identify boys who would be gay one day by how passively they behaved? Just like that. A majority of the kids who are gender-nonconforming turn out to be gay or lesbian later if left alone. So transing kids is literally gay conversion therapy.

  24. Coralislands
    May 27th, 2016 @ 6:03 am


  25. Jason Lee
    May 27th, 2016 @ 6:03 am

    What does it feel like to be a violent prick in the little girls’ room?

  26. kilo6
    May 27th, 2016 @ 7:46 am

    …Travis is an asshole and a rapist but the she has done no harm and is a very loving parent….
    The sheer quantity of doublethink required to write that sentence is astounding.
    Rapist has done no harm?
    Orwell wouldn’t even have tried putting that in print because it would have appeared far too outrageous

  27. Dana
    May 27th, 2016 @ 9:24 am

    Our esteemed host concluded:

    Maybe “rape culture” only matters when it involves college boys.

    Maybe “rape culture” only matters when it involves white college boys.


  28. jakee308
    May 27th, 2016 @ 9:34 am

    I’m so glad I’m not married now. Sure as shooting it would be my luck to have the spouse turn out to be some transgender granny who would kick me out and take my SS benefits.

    God is mad at the US. When I compare this country to 60 years ago the difference is really astounding.

    The level of whininess, the level of illogic and unreason, the applause for the perverted and the attacks on the patriotic just boggles the mind that we have sunk so low so quickly.

    I believe it will take some amount of violent reaction to return the Nation to sanity. Not condoning that or hoping for it, just an observation that we have sunk too low to drag ourselves back to sanity without a fight (and in fact the fighting is going on now sporadically and seems to be gaining in size and deadliness)

  29. Liza
    May 27th, 2016 @ 10:13 am

    The The NY Times has “Jennifer Boylan” formerly Jim/James Boylan. A New England Yankee, monied decedent of the old elite–WASP for real. He wrote 2 unimpressive novels and then became a “women”. Now Mr. Boylan has made the Times–Pravda for Trans and he is also got himself a gig at Barnard, because womanhood thats a man and gets off in a dress is smokin hot these days.

  30. Liza
    May 27th, 2016 @ 10:52 am

    I do not think this is what would be considered a “feminist blog” by anyone who has a 4th grade reading level. Travis Stroud put everyones names out there and adult rape victims do not get anonymity, they never have. There is such a thing as public records–get it “public”. Trans want to have name and gender change and get of the sex offender registry and endanger every child and every women. So it is very important to out these violent sexual sociopaths–period. And I have not seen any victim blaming–but seriously who would marry such a creep? Do you seriously think he did not read creep loud and clear.

  31. Liza
    May 27th, 2016 @ 10:56 am

    Wow thanks.

  32. EmmaJune
    May 27th, 2016 @ 11:15 am

    Looks like the NY Times sent that op-ed down the memory hole. You can only get access to it through the archive. It’s no longer on their online op-ed page.

  33. EmmaJune
    May 27th, 2016 @ 11:18 am

    Sorry, my bad, I got that wrong.

  34. Squid Hunt ?Patriarch
    May 27th, 2016 @ 11:57 am

    Evolution is an unproven theory, but let’s not get off subject riding our hobby horses.

  35. Squid Hunt ?Patriarch
    May 27th, 2016 @ 11:59 am

    They’re all perverts. The fact that they’ve managed to gather a crowd to train up in their perversion doesn’t change anything. There are always going to be bold and daring perverts that are the vanguard, followed by their group of sycophantic hangers on that move in to defend and champion and justify them. This is how perversion and the rot of society works.

  36. DeadMessenger
    May 27th, 2016 @ 12:53 pm

    I stand corrected regarding the daughter. But not sure what feminist blog you’re talking about.

  37. DeadMessenger
    May 27th, 2016 @ 12:57 pm

    Of course, natural selection is real, but macro-evolution? Not buying it.

    I’d also like to send people back to remedial science classes until they learn to understand the difference between someone’s theory and facts that can be proven in controlled experiments.

  38. Guest
    May 27th, 2016 @ 1:51 pm

    These men who transition into women, generally hate real women. Because real women are what they can never really be. There is a reason envy is a deadly sin.

  39. Daniel O'Brien
    May 27th, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

    Gender dysphoria *IS* a mental illness after all. Could also be accompanied by other psychiatric conditions that all need treatment.

  40. Rick Caird
    May 27th, 2016 @ 5:26 pm

    What is this “sex I was assigned at birth” The sex was determined at conception by the sperm and the egg. How stupid do you have to be to not know that?

  41. dontdothis
    May 28th, 2016 @ 9:06 am

    I think “she has done no harm” refers to the wife, not to Travis whom the writer would not accept is a woman.

  42. dontdothis
    May 28th, 2016 @ 9:09 am

    Unfortunately it’s not just your country but throughout the English-speaking world: – Canada, Australia, UK.

  43. dontdothis
    May 28th, 2016 @ 9:14 am

    It’s possible that actual transsexuals (men who have their testicles removed and their penis bisected and inserted inside their bodies) are passive. Men who claim to be transgender but won’t undergo this SRS are very different and dangerous to women and children.

  44. News of the Week (May 28th, 2016) | The Political Hat
    May 28th, 2016 @ 12:35 pm

    […] NY Times Transgender Columnist Was Accused by Wife of Rape and Abuse In 2015, Jennifer Marie Russo sought a protection order against her estranged husband Travis Lee Stroud. Ms. Russo, a writer who uses the pen name “Juniper Russo,” and also known as Juniper Russo Tarascio, had married Stroud in 2013 and the couple lived in an apartment in the Chattanooga suburb of Red Bank, Tennessee. In a petition filed July 21, 2015, in Chancery Court of Hamilton County, Tennessee, Ms. Russo alleged that Stroud had engaged in “extreme verbal and psychological abuse” of her daughter from a previous relationship. […]

  45. Liza
    May 28th, 2016 @ 1:03 pm

    And 90% keep their working man parts and those work. The are heterosexuals that claim to “lesbians” after they put on the dress. They are dangerous–period. And in this country they will have to rape and kill a lot of women and kids before anyone does anything. And they will. Women should be armed. And women’s locker room and bathrooms need armed security inside.

  46. Liza
    May 28th, 2016 @ 1:08 pm

    Well in 15 years there will be no more gays they will have all have been trans–ironic they will be consigned to rubbish bin of history and hoisted on their own petard. Trans will I suspect been considered up there with crimes against humanity. They are trying to lock kids into as young as possible to serve as a cover for autogynephlia. These men are monsters and their suicides are a public service to women and kids–

  47. Yisheng Qingwa
    May 28th, 2016 @ 3:18 pm
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