Nikki Joly, 54, who was born a woman but identifies as a man and is a leading LGBTQ activist in Jackson, Michigan, has been arrested. Joly is accused of intentionally burning down her own house in a fire, killing her two German shepherds and three cats, to make it look like a hate crime.
The fire, which occurred on August 10, 2017, was initially investigated by the FBI as a “hate crime.” At the time, the Jackson Police Department and Michigan State Police determined that the fire had been caused by gasoline. It now turns out, according to investigators, that the alleged victim was also the arsonist.
Police discovered that Joly purchased $10 of gasoline from a local Marathon gas station on the morning of the fire. According to police, the gasoline was poured in five rooms and traces of it were also found on the clothes she wore that day.
In fact, Joly’s alibi for how she spent her day only allowed for a five-minute window for someone to break into her two-story house, pour the gasoline in five rooms, start the fire, and get away before being spotted by anyone.
Joly was a leading figure in the LGBTQ community known for organizing the first gay festival and helping to open the first gay-pride community center in Jackson. Joly was even recognized for her efforts, being named “Citizen of the Year” by the local paper.
As to why she would fake a hate crime, according to police, Joly was apparently seeking more attention for her causes. She was annoyed at the lack of anti-LGBTQ discrimination to protest against, so, according to investigators, she faked a hate crime by burning her own home and killing her pets in the process.
Ironically, it was the passage of a non-discrimination law that may have resulted in a lack of discrimination for her to rally against. According to the Detroit News, “Two people who worked with Joly at St. John’s United Church of Christ, where the Jackson Pride Center was located, said [she] had been frustrated the controversy over gay rights had died down with the passage of the nondiscrimination law, according to the [police] report.”
“The church officials, Barbara Shelton and Bobby James, when asked by police about a possible motive for the fire, said Joly was disappointed the Jackson Pride Parade and Festival, held five days before the blaze, hadn’t received more attention or protests,” the Detroit News reported.
As one meme on social media regarding the Jussie Smollett case and parodying Nike’s “Just Do It” advertisement read, “When the supply of racism doesn’t meet the demand for it. Just fake it” or “Believe in something. Even if it didn’t happen.” Although designed as parodies, these memes illustrate the stark reality of the rise of fake hate crimes since Donald Trump was elected president.
People naturally feel sympathy for others, especially when a person loses his home and most of his possessions through a horrific fire, and especially if that fire takes the lives of family members or pets.
Through the help of St. John’s United Church of Christ, where the gay-pride community center was located, $58,000 had been collected in donations for Joly. Two days after the fire, Joly exhorted her supporters on Facebook to “Yes, be angry, be very angry,” and to channel that anger to “make change.”
Joly’s personal Facebook profile is littered with various pro-LGBTQ posts, news articles, and memes. One such post on her profile depicts the socialist clenched fist overlaid with the colors of the transgender movement (light blue, pink, and white) and below it the phrase “Respect my existence or expect my resistance.” Joly also “likes” and follows a slew of anti-Trump Facebook pages.
The radical LGBTQ community and its allies on the Left, including politicians and celebrities, have accused President Trump of homophobia and “dog-whistling,” i.e., using certain words and phrases designed to illicit acts of hatred or violence toward people of color, women, and LGBTQ individuals. Overtaken by Trump Derangement Syndrome, people such as Smollett and Joly feed off of such supposed injustice, and when they can’t find it, they will make it up to satisfy their desire to rally against Trump and his MAGA-hat wearing supporters and gain personal recognition in the process.
Joly has already been charged with one felony count of first-degree arson and two counts of animal killing. The case is ongoing. According to the Detroit Free Press, “A hearing has been set for March 8 in Jackson County Circuit Court.”