January Littlejohn

This content was last updated Nov. 15, 2023, 8:54 p.m. UTC

January Littlejohn is an anti-trans activist who is best known for suing her child's Leon County, Florida middle school school for not informing her that they were using a new name at school and had been asked which bathroom they wanted to use. She was especially upset that the school asked her child what name they wanted the school to use when speaking to parents, which she saw as a deception by the school.

Littlejohn’s lawsuit was a catalyst for the passing of Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law, HB 1557: Parental Rights in Education. Littlejohn believes her child's identity to be the result of social contagion and has referenced the work of Lisa Littman and Abigail Shrier. She believes that there is no such thing as a transgender child and children who believe themselves to be transgender are actually confused by comorbid conditions, such as ADHD and autism. 

Littlejohn has also testified in favor of anti-trans legislation in other states.

If you wait until transgender ideology comes to your home, it’s too late.

Littlejohn, speaking at a Heritage Foundation Event, 3 November 2021

Life and Career

Littlejohn is a stay at home mom of three and a licensed mental health professional with a master's degree, according to her about page on the website for Do No Harm. She is a patient advocate for Do No Harm, a group created around the issue of keeping discussions of critical race theory out of medicine that transitioned to advocating against gender-affirming care for minors. Littlejohn was a volunteer at her child's school prior to learning that the school had worked with her child without her knowledge on a plan to affirm their gender identity. (The school did not disclose this information because it was not legally allowed to do so at the time.)

Littlejohn is now dedicated to activism against gender-affirming care for minors and to helping other parents find alternatives to mainstream treatments for gender dysphoria.

Lawsuit and Broader Impact

In October of 2021 the Child and Parental Rights Campaign, Inc., a "public interest" law firm filed a federal lawsuit against the Leon County School Board in Florida on behalf of January Littlejohn and her husband. At the time the school's policy required consent by the student if parents were to be included in discussions of gender identity. Littlejohn believes that not being included in these discussions about her child resulted in damage to their relationship, although she was in contact with the school's LGBTQ+ advocate and initially agreed to allow the child to take the lead in deciding whether to use a new name or pronouns at school. Littlejohn, however, asserts that this communication was solely about the possibility of using a nickname and nothing more. 

Multiple attorneys general signed a brief in support of the lawsuit and, as it gained attention, it contributed to the implementation and eventual passing of HB 1557 in Florida and was cited frequently in debates regarding the bill. Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 1557 on March 28, 2022, officially titled the "Parental Rights in Education" bill but often nicknamed the "Don't Say Gay" bill, which limits discussions of certain issues, including LGBTQ+ identities in school and prohibits schools from adopting procedures or student support forms that prohibit schools from notifying parents of anything related to a students health and well-being, including changes in related services, which includes information related to LGBTQ+ status or concerns. Since the bill was signed, several other states have introduced similar legislation.

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