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Look to science for facts on sexuality, gender

To the editor,

In response to Myron Fluegge’s thoughts on individuals who don’t identify in ways he deems to be acceptable, I have several thoughts myself. And as a parent and educator it has taken me some time to process the best way to do this without letting my anger and disgust at what was written and printed get in the way. Here goes:

To the individuals to whom Mr. Fluegge’s letter was addressed: Please do not allow a message written out of ignorance and fear affect how you feel about yourselves. Yes, there are plenty of people like Mr. Fluegge but there are just as many, if not more, who love and support the person that you are. Look for these people. There are support systems set up in your schools. Seek these out. You are definitely not alone. If your personal support system is failing you, talk to your counselor or another trusted adult at school. The Open Door Clinic in Mankato is a good source as well. Look into the It Gets Better Project. Listen to the many stories of those in your shoes and where they are now. Take inspiration and strength from them.

To people not knowing what to think, look to science. And not the pseudo-science paraphrased by Mr. Fluegge. Actual science. Research sexual orientation, gender dysphoria and gender fluidity for starters. Look to the reasons suicide rates are so high amongst LGBTQ individuals. Is it because of the identifications themselves or because of the attitudes of the Mr. Fluegges out there? There is plenty of data that shows suicide rates decrease in direct proportion to the strength of the support systems available. Another interesting note- schools with GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance) groups show lower suicide rates for ALL students in the school, not just LGBTQ students.

Instead of finding ways to make other’s lives worse, how about looking for opportunities to support and help?

Wendi Ringhofer

New Ulm

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