Today marks Derick Dillard’s 29th birthday, and fans are using Jill’s birthday message to her husband on Instagram as a way to let everyone know they believe he is being persecuted.
Derick Dillard left Counting On, the spin-off of 19 Kids and Counting under somewhat dubious circumstances in 2017. After calling out Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen who shares her journey on her own show, I Am Jazz, for being inappropriate and having a mental disorder, TLC fans wrote in with their concerns. The network then stated they no longer had anything to do with Derick Dillard and that his opinions do not reflect the views of the corporation.
A few months later, Derick stated that he had never been fired from the TLC show, but instead, he and his wife decided to leave the show as that was what was “best” for his family. He now claims they were never paid and were volunteers on 19 Kids and Counting and later on Counting On.
Some fans have blamed Jazz for Derick’s exit, saying that her show should be off the air and Derick’s family should continue to be documented. However, Jazz has only ever made one statement regarding Derick’s comments, saying she is used to this type of behavior. At no point has Jazz or any members of her family called for Derick to be fired or for Counting On to be pulled from the network.
But now some fans believe that Derick is being persecuted for his Christian beliefs, and that’s why he was pulled off of the series. Several fans have spoken up for his “ability” to say whatever he likes, incorrectly saying he has had his free speech rights violated. Many fans support Derick’s comments, saying that they believe being trans is a mental illness.
“And YES, this man has had his name dragged through mud for telling the truth! On every social media site. YouTube has twisted the truth. Yes; he is being persecuted,” one fan passionately wrote under Jill’s birthday wishes to her husband.
Further up in the comments section, the same fan stated that if someone tried to identify as a monkey, they would be “locked up” and put in a mental institution, and the same should be true of trans individuals.
Many of Derick’s fans feel it is their “Christian duty” to let those like Jazz know the error of their ways.