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What have Trans done to you?

To the editor:

I am writing in response to a letter printed last week “exposing” abhorrent beliefs.

What did the trans community do to you to deserve such hatred and bullying? Why is an adult man trying to interfere with school kids’ sports? Your choice of belief is based in closed minded thinking. I do not believe I can change your mind, but I write so members of my community know they are not alone.

You were correct about one thing; gender is a chosen societal construct. What you claimed is scientific fact seems based on the sex assigned at birth. Perhaps you aren’t aware that between .05 and 1.5% of the population is intersex, often a result of chromosomal and/or hormonal changes during fetal development that result in characteristics that do not fit the male or female binary. God created them that way. This is different than transgender though an important part of the LGBTQ+ community.

The “conditioning” you described is actually what schools are supposed to do…provide a welcoming environment for all students to learn. Being trans isn’t something that can be taught. It is something people are. Hatred on the other hand can be taught. It is despicable that this paper printed your letter. I fully support free speech but what you wrote is hate speech, “abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group especially on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation”. The more appropriate medium for hateful opinions is a personal blog, book, or even a journal where the public is not subjected to your views.

Finally, you write about suicide. The reason suicide rates are higher among trans folx (google it) is because of the way they continue to interact with and be impacted by people like you. Discrimination, experiencing violence, and rejection are associated with high suicide rates. These individuals are facing many personal challenges and are often in need of support from people who are caring and want them to be the best they can be. Having a sense of belonging, such as from sports participation, can be preventative for mental health difficulties and suicide. If you want to reduce suicides, then support medical care that is gender affirming. Thanks to Allina, the public schools, and others who help create a safe space for all. For those who have been hurt by the previous letter, wherever you are…You matter; you are welcome here. You are loved as you are!

Marinda Kimmel

Licensed Mental Health Professional

New Ulm

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