The constitutionally enshrined freedom of expression apparently doesn't extend to transgender space camp employees in Alabama.

That's the resounding message, per The Birmingham News, as Republican elected officials and reactionary influencers alike melt down over one parent's claim that a trans person is working at Huntsville, Alabama's US Space and Rocket Center, which is associated with NASA's Marshall Spaceflight Center.

In an interview with the paper, the father of an 11-year-old girl said that he'd heard secondhand that another child called her parents after saying that a "guy" was in the student dorms at the educational facility. It appears, per agenda-driven sources that doxxed this person's identity, that the person being referenced is a trans woman who was assigned male at birth — and the child in the secondhand tale apparently felt "uncomfortable" in her presence.

As is the case in right-wing outrage cycles, politicians and social media pundits — including those who don't live in the state of Alabama, such as the virulently transphobic LibsofTikTok influencer Chaya Raichik — have glommed onto the story, accusing the trans employee of "grooming" or otherwise harming children simply by being in their presence.

Needless to say, these are baseless and morally bankrupt claims designed to make trans people feel unwelcome and even unsafe in public spaces — though in this case, it doesn't seem that the person it's targeting has been fired or had to resign as of yet.

While Raichik did include the person's name and photo, which we will not share out of an interest in protecting her identity, officials in Alabama were more vague when referencing the manufactured debacle.

Senator Tommy Tuberville, who has also expressed transphobic sentiments regarding the "trans athletes" strawman argument, initially put out a statement on X-formerly-Twitter that didn't reference trans people specifically. Instead, he said that he wants to make sure that the space camp "remains a safe space for children and young people" that is "untarnished by the progressive agenda of today."

He later doubled down on his claim in spectacularly ignorant fashion, telling the conservative 1819 News website that "there’s no reason to have a transgender in charge of boys and girls at a space camp in Huntsville, Alabama."

In its own statement to the Birmingham News, the Space and Rocket Center outlined the many precautions it takes to keep the children in its care safe without ever mentioning transgender people — understandable, considering the fact that they are transgender has nothing to do with the safety of other children.

"As a condition of employment, camp staff undergo nationwide criminal background checks including court records, Department of Corrections data, state sex offender registries from across the country, and multi-panel drug tests," the center told the Birmingham News. "Additionally, staff sleep in separate rooms from students and use separate bathroom facilities. We also provide 24-hour onsite security including round-the-clock video surveillance, regular foot and vehicle patrols, and controlled campus and building access."

"We are an apolitical organization with no social agenda," it continued, in what perhaps is a rebuttal to claims like those made by the senator. "Our singular mission is to inspire and educate."

Despite the assurances, Tuberville's fellow Alabama elected official, representative Dale Strong, is calling on the center to fire its employee and open an investigation into any "potential harm or damages" she may have inflicted upon children.

Strong's colleague, representative Robert Aderholt, said in his own X post that he'd called the space camp to "express [his concerns] directly." In another tweet, fellow Congress member Gary Palmer called the "situation" at the space camp "unacceptable."

As trans advocates and their allies have long explained, this kind of coordinated anti-trans backlash is not actually geared toward children's safety. Instead, its proponents are using children as a shield for outright hatred — which is, to any fair-minded person, far more disgusting than a trans person working with children.

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