If You Believe Anything the Daily Wire Publishes, You Deserve Nothing But Ridicule; A response to Luke Rosiak’s irresponsible “journalism”

by Dr. Tracy Castro-Gill

Part One: Ron

It’s been about a year and a half since Ben Shapiro’s The Daily Wire published a hit piece on me titled, Meet the Seattle Schools Woke Indoctrination Czar Who Married a Child Molester. It is an excerpt from a book written by Luke Rosiak called Race to the Bottom: Uncovering the Secret Forces Destroying American Education. When the piece was first released, I wrote and published a short statement denouncing Rosiak, my ex-husband, Ron, and my father, Rick. I had cut all ties with my ex-husband years prior to the publishing of the article, but immediately texted my father telling him I never wanted to speak with him again.

It took a while for me to process the betrayal of my father. The lies Rosiak told didn’t bother me. I’m used to that. The betrayal of my father is what hurt the most. My father and I reconnected last fall and have had conversations about what he did. He said he wished he could take it back but refuses to make any public statements admitting his error in judgement. I think the biggest thing holding him back is his conservative identity. He can’t be seen publicly supporting his “woke” child. His commitment to Whiteness and conservative ideology – both of which require relinquishing bits of your humanity – has forced him to disavow one of his own children.

my parents and I at a sporting event

I will go deeper into how I’ve worked through the betrayal, but I want this post to serve as a point-by-point confrontation of the irresponsible “journalism” of Luke Rosiak. It’s important for me to revisit this, because people still use his piece to “prove” that I am unstable, untrustworthy, or unfit to be an educator. I hope that most sane people see it for what it is, but I know that even people who consider themselves progressive have used his work to judge me without doing their own fact checking.

To start off, I just want to put the farcical journalism of Rosiak and the Daily Wire into perspective. After the piece was published and went viral, several other news outlets attempted to get statements from me. This isn’t my first foray into viral conservative media attacks, so I knew to ignore them. I happened, however, to answer my phone absentmindedly one day, and on the other end was a reporter from the New York Post (NYP). The NYP is the preeminent tabloid of our time. People expect falsehoods from the NYP, and most media bias charts rank the NYP as a deeply conservative news outlet that frequently publishes false and misleading content. The reporter’s first question was about my father’s claims that I’m a race fake like Rachel Dolezal. My response was, “How do you think I got the name Castro if Gill is my married name?” She said, “Oh, right. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check sources.” Even the NYP ridiculed Rosiak’s story and opted not to report on it.

I’m going to break this down into the claims my ex-husband made, the claims Rosiak made, himself, and end with the claims my father made, because, interestingly, those are the claims people repeat the most when trying to discredit me and my work.

Ron’s Claims

Claim #1: “She married a convicted child molester and moved her young daughter in with him.”

Partially true. My late husband, Brian, was a convicted sex offender for sex crimes committed against a minor. Where this statement gets fuzzy is that I didn’t flippantly move my child in with him. This happened after Brian and I had been together for several years and was the result of a court order. A family court judge determined that Ron was neglecting our youngest child while he had physical custody and ordered that Brian and I be granted physical custody as a result. The judge was made fully aware of his criminal history and spoke on it while reading her verdict. The judge in our case happened to be a former criminal attorney who prosecuted sex crimes against minors. She was convinced, through evidence and testimony, that Brian would make a better father than Ron.

Claim #2: “ . . . she pressured her child, who has serious mental impairments, to become gender-nonbinary.”

There are a few things in this claim. First, Rosiak admits he got this intel from Ron, a devout transphobic misogynist who once asked me why I let our child cut their hair short and, “look like a dyke.” Second, my child does not have “serious mental impairments.” My child has several learning disabilities and generalized anxiety disorder. They’ve since graduated high school, held a long-term job, and will start college in the fall. My child is fully capable of knowing who they are and how to express that best.

screenshot of a text I received from Ron after he saw a picture of my youngest child’s hair

My child no longer identifies as “gender-nonbinary.” They identify as trans masc. When my child first broached the subject of being trans, we had a long conversation about what that meant. I asked if they had body dysphoria, and they said no. I supplied them with reading materials so they could learn more about gender identity. In fact, my child and I frequently argue about how they choose to identify. What they share with me sounds more like rebelling against The Patriarchy than being trans, but that’s my take, and I respect my child’s expertise on their own identity.

Claim #3: “Tracy’s avatar became the ‘submissive’ to Brian’s ‘dominant’ in violence-tinged online sex games.”

Wow… first, Brian and I did meet in Second Life, an MMORPG. Again, all this intel is coming from Ron. Ron knew and was friendly with Brian on Second Life. In fact, Ron had his own second life where he would engage in sexual role play and eventually meet one of his virtual lovers in person shortly after our separation. This statement, while technically isn’t false – except for the “violence-tinged online sex” – is a gross misrepresentation of what both Ron and I did in the virtual reality Second Life.

Claim #4: “Tracy Hammond was a classic California housewife, a stay-at-home mother of three whose husband provided for her.”

It’s so hard to read this and not laugh hysterically. Ron is a perpetually unemployed high school dropout. We were mired in deep poverty the entire 17 years we were together. In fact, we were audited one year by the IRS, and when I asked the auditor why, he said, “Since Ron was 1099’d, and the earnings you reported for last year weren’t enough to provide for basic needs, your return was flagged for an audit.” We were audited for being too poor! If we had any stability, it was because I was employed. There were large chunks of time I was a stay-at-home mom, but it was mostly because it was more cost effective than paying for daycare. What really enabled me to do that was the fact that Ron’s mother was wealthy and bought us a house. During much of our relationship, I worked full-time and/or was a full-time college student. 

Claim #5: “One night at 3am, Ron woke up and found her sitting in front of her computer, entranced by the game. . . . Soon after, Tracy told Ron she was going to Vegas for the weekend with a girlfriend. Then that friend called Ron looking for her. By Monday, Ron filed for divorce.”

Oh. My. Gawd. Almost none of this happened. Ron and I separated in 2008. I met Brian in Vegas in September of 2009. The girlfriend in question was my life-long friend, Leslie, who knew I was going to Vegas and why: to meet Brian in person for the first time. The lie by omission is that on the same weekend, Ron was on a train to Arizona to meet his virtual Second Life lover. Ron didn’t file for divorce until I moved to Seattle in 2010.

Claim #6: “Tracy wanted to take their four-year-old daughter and move to Seattle to live with Brian. The judge overseeing the custody case barred the girl’s move and ordered that the minor have no contact with the sex offender.”

This claim is referring to a custody hearing that took place prior to my move to Seattle. It’s true that the first judge assigned to our case in 2010 denied me the ability to bring my child with me to Seattle. Initially, I decided to stay in California. A few months later, however, I received notice that I had been accepted to the University of Washington. This was significant because the university I had been attending, Cal Poly Pomona, cut my program because of statewide cuts to the Cal State system. My choices were move to Seattle and complete my undergraduate degree or stay in California separated and homeless with a small child. I chose the former. No judge ever, at any time, limited Brian from being near my children.

Ultimately, Ron is an angry ex-husband who continues to be perpetually unemployed, failed to pay child support for years, rarely sees his youngest child, regularly disappoints his youngest child, and occasionally tries to harass me about getting back together. In fact, about a year after Rosiak’s piece was published, I received an Instagram DM from Ron trying to rekindle a relationship. I simply responded, “What makes you think you have a right to speak to me?” then blocked him.

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