Billboard carries message of love for trans people

A billboard display paid for by a group of friends and neighbors shows support to transgender residents and visitors to the Morongo Basin.

JOSHUA TREE — “Transgender people deserve health care, support, justice, safety, love.”

With those words bordered by a rainbow design, a group of Morongo Basin people hope they’ve replaced a message attacking transgender people with one offering support.

“It was an act of love. We wanted to come together and show our neighbors that we love them,” said the spokeswoman for the group, who call themselves the Morongo Basin Neighbors.

The billboard is the same one near the border of Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms that Congressional candidate Tim Donnelly used to take a shot at incumbent Congressman Paul Cook and transgender members of the armed forces during the recent campaign.

Donnelly’s sign referred to a vote by Congressman Paul Cook in 2017. Cook voted against a spending bill amendment that would have ended the Pentagon policy of providing gender-reassignment surgeries if a doctor deemed them medically necessary.

“Ask Paul Cook Why He Voted To Allow Our Military Funds To Be Used For Sex-Change Surgeries!” the billboard read.

The message, along with the accompanying photo of a U.S. Navy veteran who transitioned decades after serving, disturbed a group of neighbors and friends from Twentynine Palms, Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley who decided to do something about it.

“It was a group of neighbors who wanted to do something and to provide some comfort toward the community that we thought the prior board attacked,” said the Morongo Basin Neighbors spokeswoman, who asked to remain anonymous.

“It really did come out of so many of us individually feeling upset about it and understanding how our trans neighbors feel even more upset. We didn’t want to let that happen out here,” she said.

They started brainstorming about what they could do and realized they could simply buy the billboard.

The art was created by a transgender artist who lives in the Hi-Desert — another counterpoint to Donnelly’s billboard, which used a photo without the permission of the photographer, who is gay, or the subject, a trans woman.

“Like every community does, we have trans neighbors out here and the trans community has had a lot of attacks on their rights recently on all levels,” the spokeswoman said. “The billboard was another layer and it was in our community and made people feel attacked in a very personal way in our small town. And that’s not actually representative of who we are as a community.”

While there has been criticism on social media about the new billboard, the spokeswoman said the group has gotten a lot of positive reaction that underscores their message.

“We’ve had a really great response so far. It seems that people are excited,” she said. “We’ve gotten a lot of comments online where people ask if it’s real because it’s so beautiful. We feel proud that we’ve created something that’s meaningful but also added comfort and warmth to the community.”

The group hopes trans people, both living in the Hi-Desert and visiting, see the sign and know they are valued.

“We want to make it visible for those who might feel alone or attacked,” she said

“I think we all felt good to know we had enough neighbors who wanted to do something kind. … We’re proud to live in a small town that would do something like that.”


(4) comments


they dont deserve anything more than anyone else. but they can ruin a Christian business and get away with it.


But would you say they deserve less? And as far as the rest of your I’ll-informed comment, your neighbors support your right to say it and love you in spite of it. Bless your little heart.

Mark Simmons

The ironic thing is starchaser, if Jesus were to come back, he’d probably love transgender people and sit down to have a meal with them. Jesus judged no one! Unlike many sanctimonious churches and their flock around here, who preach their hate for people who are different, Jesus would’ve loved them anyway despite who they are. Not a Christian myself. Nor am I religious. But, didn’t Jesus command “Judge not. Lest ye be judged?”


Jesus would sit down with a transgender person for sure .
And after speaking with Jesus , the transgender would repent and get saved.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[b] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Jesus would explained this in a loving way and changed their mind and heart. Not their sex.

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