Our family faced many years of harassment via US mail from an individual that would subscribe for magazines and services with offensive and homophobic names directed to our address. This was a time of apprehension and sadness for our family. In 2021, the perpetrator signed us up for a subscription under the name Michelle Fruitzey.
For the first time, we were able to get a handwriting sample. A resident of our town that wished to remain anonymous actually identified the perpetrator through handwriting analysis and turned the analysis over to the police. The local police identified the perpetrator and arrested him for years of criminal harassment.
Our family decided to turn a bad situation into a great situation by "owning" the name Michelle Fruitzey and having a fundraiser for the local GSA in our town schools. To date, we raised over $30,000 and endowed a scholarship in our community that will honor a student that stands up to bullying and is going on to secondary education (2-yearor 4-year college or a trade school).
We are humbled and proud of the response, which includes international news coverage and tremendous generosity from people far and wide. Let's continue to educate against bullying in all forms, especially against GLBT youth and take Michelle viral. #iammichellefruitzey
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