Letter writer’s words did not belong to everyone
To the Editor:
On Nov. 20, a list of names of people killed internationally were read all over the world. Nov. 20 is the National Transgender Remembrance Day, where people in the LGBTQ community and their allies stand together to say we see you, we accept you and we will keep up the fight until it is safe to live out in the open. The names read were all members of the transgender community who were killed for who they are. Members of the LGBTQ community only want to live free from physical violence, emotional abuse and discrimination. They are not looking to “encourage transgender and homosexual thinking by divorcing each of these categories from the biological sex assigned at birth” as a recent letter to the editor said; they are looking to be loved and accepted.
As a community member that works in the human service field I felt it was critical that I respond to the letter. Words have power. We are heading into the final countdown in the season of giving, a time that can be particularly troublesome for members of the LGBTQ community. In order to spend time with family celebrating the season, many have to face going into the proverbial closet. Some that are out have to face emotionally and physically unsafe situations at the hands of the very people who should love them unconditionally. Many spend it alone or on the streets because they are not welcome at their families’ tables.
Does it help you to have concrete data? LGBTQ youth are 17% more likely to commit suicide. Would it help to know that this public shaming of LGBTQ content being taught to students has local therapists and counselors on high alert? They are frantically reaching out to other professionals to help support their already marginalized students and clients.
Your comments caused harm to members of our community. Some of the harm may be irreversible. It is possible that somewhere a family never gets the chance to mend broken relationships and heal. Could your words have played a part in that outcome?
The letter writer states “this type of lesson is about pushing a particular worldview that defies scientific facts and inappropriately encourages our children to think hyper-sexually.” Recently I attended an event meant to educate our community about the dangers of human sex trafficking. It was shared that the average age of a child entering sex trafficking is 12-14. It also was shared that 54.5% of these young adults identify as LGBTQ. How do they get there? This lesson is taught so children do not have to live in shame and fear. The lesson in question is taught to children between the ages of 10-12 so maybe we can save one from becoming a statistic.
This letter is not meant to change one’s political or religious view but to educate on our responsibility as community members and educators to do no harm. To any LGBTQ community members and their allies, HER WORDS ARE NOT THE WORDS OF MY COMMUNITY!