Courage to stand up

Letters to the Editor - 3/27/14 edition

March 26, 2014 

Dear Editor

The explosive topic of trangenderism has arrived on the scene of this small town, troubling the minds of some and rallying the spirits of others. People debate the ethicality of this role model's decision, and the problem seems to be this: teaching children about sexuality is difficult, and these lessons are being ripped out of parents' hands by the decision of another person.

Parents feel like they've lost some level of control over teaching their children the difference between right and wrong. They are afraid their child may feel confused about their sexuality because someone they look up to changed genders.

Being in school, you're interacting with people of the same and opposite sex on a daily basis, for hours on end. Week after week. Year after year. Growing up, who had a bigger impact on your identity — your friends and peers, or your teachers?

"Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are," so goes the Russian proverb. A male who finds that they identify better with females, or vice versa, is going to discover this confusion just by socializing with other human beings. One teacher isn't going to cause any confusion.

Someone has lived 56 years of a full life, and they still weren't happy with who they were. They made a decision to be a happier individual, risking a livelihood they've spent a lifetime to establish to do so. That takes a hell of a lot of courage.

As a teacher, this person is a role model, and the morality of this individual has nothing to do with their gender. What this role model did was speak out about a confusion they once felt, and began a pursuit towards being happy. A transgender teacher won't incite confusion — they'll accommodate others who already feel this way, and exemplify the courage to stand up for their right for a pursuit towards happiness.

Clay Harmon, Fresno

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