To The Daily Sun,
In the 1940s and 1950s, the idea of a mulatto was a foreign one to many people. According to birth certificates, you were either black or white. Having a black parent and a white parent required a child to be identified as "black" even if light-skinned. Everything was based on appearance. Seems to me that for some, that is still the case.
There are teenagers in our area that defy you to label them quite so easily. According to Norman Silber, those labels are assigned by God when an egg and a sperm do the rumba in a womb with a view. I'm amazed at how many people in this area invoke God when attempting to win an argument. If you need to bring God into it as a witness to your brilliance then you simply have yet to provide sufficient facts to make your case. You could simply say "Well Norman — he was born with a willy so it MUST be a boy," or "Well, Mr. Smith — I see a hoo-hoo down there so you got yourself a daughter." And for most people that is exactly the case and it stays that way for a person's entire life.
For some, it isn't quite so cut and dried. We are not talking cross-dressers or transvestites here. Does anyone remember Renee Richards — the tennis player back in the '70s? How about Chastity Bono? What you see these days is that our society has opened up enough that these teenagers are identifying this chromosomal and hormonal mismatch at an earlier age since they feel more comfortable opening up about it, and for that we can be thankful. And if you believe in God and think he has a say in it, then you have to admit that God in all of His infinite wisdom knows just what he is doing. Or maybe He doesn't. It doesn't matter because these kids and (eventually) adults deserve our support and respect.
Look — this is not like a child who needs a special bathroom because they suffer from an illness — like cystic fibrosis or others where they need a place to deal with their body. This is about kids who are trying to fit in and do so in a world which — many days — seems ambivalent to any of us. Do you honestly think they asked for this burden? And I'll promise you that most kids they spend time with are quite accepting of them and their differences. And the ones that aren't accepting? Probably come from families that make the biggest stink about "keep that kid away from mine." Because let's be honest — the apple never seems to fall far from the tree. No, to identify these kids and to force them into special bathrooms is really an attempt to label them. You might just as well tattoo their foreheads or brand them with hot irons. You parents and grandparents — stop foisting your fears onto your kids and your grandkids. Try and let them grow up without your prejudices; your fears; your paranoia.
As a former school board member, my job was to ensure the best possible education for the children of a school district while getting the most out of every tax dollar the parents provide. You need to do what is RIGHT — not popular. And I don't mean what is right for YOU — I mean what is right for the students. Especially the at risk ones. Seriously? You're okay with every Tom, Dick, and Henrietta walking around packing a Colt under their jacket, but THIS scares you? According to surveys (The Williams Institute and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention), 4.6 percent of the overall U.S. population has self-reported a suicide attempt, with that number climbing to between 10 and 20 percent for lesbian, gay or bisexual respondents. By comparison, 41 percent of trans or gender non-conforming people surveyed have attempted suicide. Why is that? Because they don't feel safe. They are targeted and they are differentiated. THAT should be your major concern. Worry about bullying and harassment towards ALL students.
The president and his attorney general have already made it clear that it is up to the states to make a determination. This is New Hampshire — aren't we all supposed to "Live Free" here? It's high time to let the fears of a previous generation go the way of the dodo, and let these kids be who THEY think they are, and not how you want to label them.
- Category: Letters
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