The three images of Julian Gavino were posted to the crayon maker’s Facebook page Saturday. One showed a bearded Gavino in a leopard-print jumpsuit, another seated in a wheelchair wearing a strange chain bra over a green coat, and the other clean shaven and wearing a varsity-style jacket.
“Julian Gavino, aka The Disabled Hippie Life Coaching, (he/him) is a fashion model, writer, and activist who identifies as a transgender man. He was born with a progressive neurological condition,” Crayola wrote alongside the photos. “Julian is passionate about advocating for his respective communities.”
The 137-year-old, Forks Township, Pennsylvania-based company, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards and a mainstay of back-to-school shopping lists for decades, lauded Gavino as a trailblazer.
“As someone who grew up not seeing anyone who looked like him in the media, Julian is determined to normalize disabled and trans bodies in the fashion world,” Crayola wrote. “This #DisabilityPrideMonth Crayola celebrates Julian and everyone like him for their passion and creativity.”
Although some of the company’s Facebook followers praised the post, many were furious and vowed not to buy Crayola products in the future.
“Really inappropriate content for children,” wrote Kristi Van. “Usually I buy a ton of supplies to donate, this year we will be leaving Crayola out of the donation. Kids don’t need to be taught about sexual preference or changing genders while trying to color.”
“Thanks Crayola since you’ve decided to make this political. I’ll NO longer be purchasing your product!!” wrote Ruth Miller.
“Stop! Children need to be protected from this!” wrote Charlotte Nelson Fiedler. “It is sad when I want to go against the school supply suggestions and NOT buy Crayola. Get off the woke bus. Go woke, go broke.”
“I’m disgusted that you would push this on children!!!!!” writes Jennifer Roth. “Have you not paid attention to all the companies that have gone woke. Check out Disney’s stock lately? Nobody wants this pushed on children.”