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Stop using quotation marks around words transitioning & transgender

To The Daily Sun,

In a letter to the editor published on March 15, there was a portion regarding transgender individuals in which the author of said letter stated, "I am particularly concerned about the parent who says their child identifies as the opposite gender. Allowing this to happen, according to the American Pediatrics [sic] Association, is child abuse." I am curious as to where the author found the evidence on which this claim was made?

The LGBTQ Health and Well-Being Special Interest Group at the American Pediatric Association identifies its overarching goal as "... (providing) a forum within the APA to promote the health and well-being of LGBTQ individuals through research, education, improvements in health care delivery, support and advocacy." Nothing in the special interest group's webpage suggests that the APA endorses the idea that allowing a child to identify with a gender that does not correspond to their sex at birth constitutes as abuse. For its part, the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health and Wellness has a plethora of online resources including a webinar series on caring for transgender youth. (run by the AAP), parents of gender-nonconforming and transgender youth are advised to respond to their child's gender identification "in an affirming, supportive way" and to support a "child's self-expression through choices of clothing, jewelry, hairstyle, friends, and room decoration." Far from condemning as abuse the permittance of a child to freely express their gender identity, the AAP tells parents, "Accept and love your child as they are. They will need your support and validation to develop into healthy teens and adults."

On a related note, I urge people to stop using quotation marks around terms such as transitioning and transgender. Putting these terms in quotation marks shows a lack of respect by implying that this aspect of a person's identity is invalid or false. By devaluing a person's identity — whether that be their sexuality, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, religion, profession, etc. — you take into question any part of their self-autonomy and worth that is tied to it. No matter your personal beliefs, mutual respect is necessary for a productive discussion. The point of a conversation involving differences in opinion is to listen to the other side in order to understand, not to simply respond.

Sarah Watson


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 31

Why can't politicians go to the Veterans Administration and fix it?

To The Daily Sun,

Ryan Goggin is in a Boston Hospital on life support. There is a hockey tournament to raise money to help him. The tournament is Friday and Saturday March 31 and April 1 at the Pop Whalen Ice Arena in Wolfeboro.

Ryan is a vet from the Iraq war. He is on a list of people exposed to chemicals that those on it have a higher incidence to cancer. Ryan does have leukemia.

He and his mother have been fighting for over a year with the VA in New Hampshire for care and benefits. It took forever for him to get the needed stem cell transplant. As a result of the transplant, Ryan got pneumonia which he is fighting now. If given the necessary medications to fight pneumonia when diagnosed, he might not be on life support.

There are Veterans Choice cards, but the VA drags its feet in giving out the cards and they must approve the treatment before it's given.

The VA at one time wanted Ryan to go to Tennessee for treatment. With Dartmouth-Hitchcock in the state and the best hospitals in Boston, could not the VA find a hospital closer for Ryan to have treatment?

How can this be happening to one of our veterans? I am sure this is not a unique situation but something that is happening to many of our veterans. Don't they deserve the best? They put their life on the line to fight for our freedom?

Carol Shea-Porter is aware of the situation. Big deal.

Why can't any of our representatives get off their butts and actually go to the VA and fix this? They write letters. Please .... No wonder Washington, D.C., is broken when our reps can only write a letter to help a citizen of New Hampshire.

There is something wrong when a veteran and his mother have to fight for treatment and to have to wait for the treatment so long that it effects whether he lives or not.

Our veterans deserve much better than this. Come to the hockey tournament. Help Ryan.

Linda Riley

  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 37