A bestselling trans author’s tweet thread about abuse goes viral, then came the allegations of her own abuse
On Nov. 10, a celebrated trans author wrote a viral tweet thread that received over 100,000 likes. The thread complained about the discrepancy between successful, beautiful women, and their often abusive and unkempt male partners.
As it turns out, she may have been projecting.
The author, who writes under the pen name “Meredith Russo,” is formerly known as Meredith Stroud and Travis Lee Stroud. Her 2016 novel If I Was Your Girl received multiple awards and near-endless commendations from literary elites. On the back of the book’s success, Stroud, 32, was invited to publish an article in The New York Times on the struggles of being a transwoman. Stroud’s subsequent book, Birthday, received awards from Refinery29, Bustle and Nylon.
However, some Twitter users brought attention to a blog post from 2016 where the author’s arrest record and past relationship history were detailed, prompting the author to use block lists to squelch criticism.
“Domestic violence is insidious and slow, like the proverbial boiling frog,” Stroud’s ex-wife, Juniper Russo, said. “It’s hard to say when it all started.”
Juniper Russo alleges she was subjected to a campaign of sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of her former partner, abuse she says was so severe that the marriage culminated in a divorce in early 2015.
“We met on OKCupid in 2011 and got married in 2013,” Russo said, claiming the physical abuse started shortly after the wedding. “We had a lot of shared interests at the time, and I was naive enough to think that shared interests are the foundation of a healthy relationship.”
Russo shared disturbing details of some of the alleged abuses she suffered during her marriage to Meredith Stroud.
“When my son was born in 2014, I had severe pre-eclampsia and injuries from giving birth. I had to have major reconstructive surgery. I was extremely weak and in severe pain,” Russo said.
“Meredith was extremely abusive to me during this time, calling me a ‘feeding station, not a parent’ because breastfeeding my son was one of the only things I could do, and because I was asking [Meredith] to help with things like diapers,” Russo also alleges.
During this same time, Juniper says Stroud would tell her to commit suicide. “[Meredith] kept mocking me when I was in pain, and told me I was so useless as a parent I should just kill myself.”
Russo says she was first forced to call the police in late 2014, “[Meredith] was having an outburst. I got scared and called 911. [Meredith] took the phone from me, and was heard trying to prevent me from calling for help.”
As a result, Stroud was booked on charges of interfering with an emergency call.
Like many victims of domestic violence, Russo says she still loved and sympathized with her abuser.
“I ended up bailing [Meredith] out, and paying for the legal defense,” she said.
Russo said she often intervened to prevent Stroud from being charged with domestic abuse, noting that the police wanted to charge Stroud in Nov. 2014.
“I was always trying to protect [Meredith] because I knew men’s jail was not kind to transwomen,” Russo said. “She was always threatening suicide if she were to get arrested.” Russo continues, “Even when things were terrible, I was worried for her safety and didn’t want her to kill herself or be beaten to death in prison.”
Russo turned over 53 pages of legal documents to support her allegations.
The divorce record, which features a restraining order against Stroud, includes messages shared between the two in which Stroud admits to abusing Russo. These messages were accepted as evidence by the divorce courts.
In one series of messages from Facebook, Stroud is calmly attempting to diffuse Russo’s desire to proceed with the divorce, offering to go on medication and check into a psychiatric facility for psychosis maintenance.
In this same conversation, Russo expresses fear of Stroud eventually killing her.
In another, dramatically different text conversation, Stroud says she hopes Russo gets “run over by a f*cking truck” and demands Russo reduce child support payments.
At the time, Stroud was recorded by the court as having an income of $8,300 gross per month, having acquired a substantial six-figure advance from Flatiron Books, the publisher of Stroud’s debut novel, If I Was Your Girl. The court would later order Stroud to pay $1,068 per month.
But Russo says Stroud has not paid child support in years, and currently owes over $20,000 in back payments. In July of 2019, Russo attempted to start a GoFundMe to raise the money needed to legally compel Stroud to pay what was owed. Other than the child support arrangements, Russo did not request alimony or any other financial compensation from the seperation.
After the divorce, Russo says Stroud denigrated her in public, telling fans and followers on social media that Russo was “a TERF who had abused and left” Stroud due to her transition from male to female.
“Many trans people are the victims of violence and discrimination, so [Meredith’s] target audience found that totally relatable and credible. They had no reason to doubt her,” Russo said, noting that both she and her current wife are members of the LGBT community. Russo identifies as non-binary, while her current wife is a transwoman.
“I’ve been harassed quite a bit by Meredith’s social network. I lost a lot of friends and have been largely ostracized from our local LGBT community.” Russo says, “I’ll often be online and someone I don’t know will suddenly jump into a thread to announce I’m the TERF who ruined Meredith Russo’s life.”
Stroud continues to publicly call Russo an abuser, and claims she’s attempting to “destroy” [Stroud’s] career and finances.
The Post Millennial has reached out to Stroud as well as Flatiron-MacMillan Publishing and Stroud’s publishing agent Sarah Barley for comment. While the publishing house and agent did not respond by the time of publication, Stroud denied all allegations while calling The Post Millennial a slew of denigrating names.
When asked about her own admissions of abuse in the court document, Stroud again asserted “Either way, my response to the allegations is that I have not ever sexually or physically abused any of my sexual or romantic partners.”
Stroud claimed, at first, that she was “barred” from speaking about her relationship to her ex-wife by law. When questioned about why she had persistently made social media posts about that very subject, Stroud declined to answer before blocking the account used to contact her.
“Meredith thrives on lies and conflict, and she’s a writer, so she knows how to come up with a good story.” Russo says, “I knew when I left her that I’d become the subject of one of these stories.”
Included in the divorce and restraining order filings was an article Stroud wrote with the intention of submitting it to an LGBT magazine. The article, written as an introspective reflection on the couple’s relationship, states in detail the abuse Stroud subjected Russo to.
And despite Stroud’s public attempts to downplay the arrest, Stroud’s written account supports Russo’s claims that it was she who is responsible for jail bailout and the charges being dropped.
The document also backs Russo’s assertion that she continued to support and care for her spouse even after the repeated physical and sexual assaults, a far cry from Stroud’s claims on social media that Russo had been the abuser, and callously made Stroud homeless.
Due to Stroud’s continued public assertions that Russo is to blame, as well as the harassment from Stroud’s fans she’s received in the past as a result, Russo says she continues to fear retaliation.
Russo notes that some of the posts Stroud has made include threats of violence. From a now-deleted alternative Twitter account, Stroud posted how she wanted Russo’s friends to be “brutally killed” in the style of a violent horror movie.
“My main hope, in discussing all of this, is that the defamation against myself and my family will stop.” Russo comments, “I’ve worked so hard to rebuild my life in the five years since I left Meredith, and I’m emotionally exhausted by the fact that I’m still being defamed on a daily basis as a ‘TERF’ and abuser, and that it’s affected my family so profoundly.”
Despite everything, Juniper Russo says she does not wish ill upon her former spouse, and supports Stroud’s work in the literary world.
“I still have to believe that there’s some good inside of [Meredith] and that she’s leaving some kind of positive mark on the world. If her books have saved one single teenager from suicide, I’d consider that to outweigh the pain and trauma I’ve had to endure at her hands.” Russo continues on to note that deeply flawed people can sometimes make good art.
“It’s important to be aware that someone who creates inspiring work is not necessarily a good person, and I think it’s dangerous for anyone to look up to Meredith as a role model, or to take anything she says at face value.”
Russo concluded. “Her work, including how she presents herself and speaks of those around her, is fictional. I’d caution anyone against mistaking any of it for reality.”
Notorious trans rights activist and alleged child sex predator Jessica Yaniv has made yet another dubious claim. This time, Yaniv has accused The Post Millennial’s Amy Eileen Hamm of sexual assault.
In a post to Twitter late Wednesday night, Yaniv accused Hamm of misconduct at a British Columbia courthouse. The misconduct would have taken place while Yaniv was appearing in court on weapons charges.
In the tweet, Yaniv also accuses the B.C. Provincial Court, the B.C. Sheriff’s department, and the B.C. RCMP of doing “nothing” about the assault.
“They are investigating that, but put that BITCH behind bars,” tweeted Yaniv. “She HURTS PEOPLE and the #LGBTQ Yes I am furious.”
Yaniv falsely accused Hamm of photographing her in the women’s washroom during a recess in her recent court appearance—an accusation that the authorities on the scene were quick to dismiss.
The weapons charges stem from a livestream with YouTuber and TPM columnist Blaire White where Yaniv was attempting to clear her name of allegations against her for sexual misconduct with minors and ended up brandishing illegal weapons.
The Post Millennial reached out to Hamm, who said,“During court recess, I entered the women’s washroom and saw JY standing in the common area. I immediately backed out of the room, fearing for my own safety and not wanting to be confined in a small room with this person.”
This latest false allegation comes only days after a video of Yaniv actually assaulting reporter Keean Bexte went viral on Twitter.
Yaniv rose to prominence after filing 16 human rights complains with the provincial human rights tribunal wherein she accused numerous salons and salon workers of transphobia for their reluctance and eventual refusal to wax Yaniv’s male genitalia.
All salons that Yaniv accused of transphobia had specifically told Yaniv that they only provided their service to female genitalia. At the time of the waxing conundrum, Yaniv was still using her given male name on social media, which could have caused all the more confusion for the estheticians
Navigating dating and being transgender is something that most people tend to find difficulty with. The media has imprinted in our minds the caricature of the very “obvious” trans person who you probably recognize quickly at a dinner date may not have been born the gender they’re presenting as, but what happens when trans people have reached the point of “passability”? Is it their responsibility to disclose their trans status to their date? If so, when is the right and wrong time? How serious is it? Let’s break it down.
I’m transgender myself, but I’ve also been a public figure online throughout my entire transition. Because of that, I thankfully have never gone into a date or relationship with it as a secret—how could I? One Google search spills all my beans! However, I’ve witnessed a huge amount of trans people within the community completely mishandle love, sex, and their trans status. Make no mistake—it is absolutely deceptive to lie or omit your biological sex to your romantic partner.
As far as sex goes, you absolutely must disclose that you are transgender before being intimate with someone. Get it out of the way! It is your partner’s right to know that sort of history before proceeding with anything physical. Far too many trans people, particularly trans women, have experienced beatings or even murder for the age-old cliché of “tricking” a man and having sex with him. You should be prioritizing not only honesty for your partner’s sex but for your own safety. Anything can happen in the heat of the moment, and the harsh reality is that not everyone wants to have sex with a trans person. Even someone of the folks that do want to have sex with a trans person may still be struggling with their attraction and lash out. It’s not about victim shaming, either- it’s about avoiding this danger altogether.
Of course, there’s nuance as well. A simple, wholesome dinner date isn’t the same as sex. Many trans people struggle with the right moment to disclose their history. Should it be on the first date? The second? The third? Here’s my opinion—honesty is always the best policy.
It’s in the best interest of you and your date to tell them before you even sit down and meet. This has become increasingly easy with the rise of online dating. Put it in your bio or send it as a text from the safety of your own home! You should want to weed out the people who wouldn’t be interested in dating a trans person in the first place. Any type of relationship, whether it’s romantic or even a friendship, is built upon honesty. If you go into a situation with someone with secrets at the very beginning, you’re dooming the relationship.
Maybe you’ll get lucky and get away with not disclosing your history at the beginning, but maybe you’re setting yourself up for a dangerous situation that could have been avoided had you just told your truth. Remember that!
The result of the constant barrage of trans ideology and inclusion is that the media talks about periods way more than they used to. Once the purview of women’s medical journals and whispers, the state of modern menstruation has taken up lots of pixel space, but only in the context of trans men’s experience with it. The new claim is that periods are more painful for female-bodied trans men than they are for female-bodied female persons because, in addition to the physical discomfort, they experience mental anguish as well.
A new report by NBC News speaks to the conundrum of women who believe they are men but are still saddled with women’s reproductive systems. In addition to not wanting to deal with menstruation, trans men find it troubling to use tampons and pads in men’s public bathrooms. There’s concern about the sound of the packaging, where to wash hands, and where to dispose of the used materials. While an easy solution would be to use the women’s bathroom, this, too would be a problem for trans men who would be viewed as men, not women. No matter where they use the washroom, there are problems.
Kenny Ethan Jones, a transgender model and activist, found that having his period after his transition was remarkably difficult, and wanted to speak out to help others who experience the same problem. He told NBC “I didn’t believe that having periods would be a part of my lived experience. I felt isolated; everything about periods was tailored to girls, yet me, a boy, was experiencing this and nothing in the world documented that.”
It’s interesting how much more dialogue there is about periods now that people who present as men are having them. Period products are changing to be more accommodating to people who don’t like pink, and products are being made available in more locations. What’s missed in all this inclusivity is that there are loads of women who loathe the pink buttercup infantile quality of women’s menstrual products. But companies never asked or cared to find this out, so women had no choice but to buy the overly girly products for a condition that feels anything but feminine.
Jones notes that trans and gender non conforming people can feel alienated by the menstrual products currently available on drug store shelves. And while this is undoubtedly true, it’s also true for most women. No woman likes buying menstrual products. Walking up to the register and proclaiming that you are now or will soon be bleeding feels humiliating. The same is true for use of public washrooms. No one wants to be heard ripping the plastic off a tampon or caught red-handed at the sink. It’s embarrassing all around, not just for women who have beards. But it’s only since women with facial hair and six-packs started talking about it that anyone is the least bit concerned about how uncomfortable this is.
With an interest in normalizing menstruation for trans men, Jones helmed an advertising campaign in 2018 for Pink Parcel, a subscription service for period products. In doing so, he said that “During my transition I did have to deal with experiencing periods each month and many of the negative stereotypes that can come along with it. Assuming periods are inhibiting to people tends to perpetuate period shame even more, and makes people even more reluctant to talk about them.” Jones had attended an all-girls school, came out as trans at 14, started socially transitioning at 16 by shaving his head and changing his name, and began hormone treatment at 17.
His outspoken words on periods and their discomfort, however, apply equally to trans men and to women, because despite the rhetoric saying that periods are so much worse for those who present as men and don’t want them, periods are literally just as awful for everybody who has them, because no one actually wants to experience them. The division between trans men and women with regard to period pain, body dysphoria, and the difficulty in dealing with the logistics of it is entirely arbitrary. All this language does is isolate women into a category where it’s assumed that they like all the weird things that happen to their bodies, simply because they know they are things that are supposed to happen to healthy bodies.
Women and trans men are not different when it comes to experiencing menstruation, and all this division does is box women in cutesy pink packaging of acceptance. Separating trans men who bleed from women who bleed reinforces gender stereotypes, and while trans men may feel lifted by new period products with trucks and rifles on them instead of bows and duckies, this does nothing but further ghettoize women who accept the inevitability of their femaleness.
Notorious trans activist Jessica Yaniv appeared in a British Columbia court today where she faced two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon violating the Firearms Act. During recess, Yaniv falsely accused this reporter of taking photographs of her in the women’s washroom.
I entered the woman’s washroom, noticed that Yaniv was there, and quickly exited. Police responded to Yaniv’s false claim by searching my phone, only to discover that I had not done what Yaniv had claimed. He yelled at me that he was going to charge me with “voyeurism.” I was also verbally harassed by Yaniv’s mother, Miriam.
Before the hearing, Yaniv successfully had Keean Bexte of The Rebel News kicked out of the courthouse.
Yaniv requested a publication ban. The hearing was then moved to another room where Yaniv cited “harassment” as the reason for requesting the ban. The presiding judge did not agree to the ban. “There is no power in the criminal code for me to do that. I am rejecting your application.” Justice Jette said.
Yaniv told the judge that she was “in-between lawyers” and needed more time. She requested a new court date and one was granted for February 10, 2020.
Yaniv was arrested in August by RCMP after appearing on popular YouTuber Blaire White’s channel. On a live stream, she displayed the functionality of a taser and claimed to be fully aware of its illegality.