Letters to the Editor

Don’t allow your discomfort to outweigh transgender lives

A crowds listens to speakers during a rally Feb. 23, 2017, at City Hall in San Francisco against President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back a federal rule saying public schools had to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender identity.
A crowds listens to speakers during a rally Feb. 23, 2017, at City Hall in San Francisco against President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back a federal rule saying public schools had to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their chosen gender identity. Associated Press file

When I was born, the adults in the room looked at me and declared I was a girl. I always felt female, and I still do. That has been quite convenient.

Of course, gender identity isn’t always so simple, and Americans are at odds about transgender kids at schools. I am concerned that future policies will be based on feelings, rather than facts.

Here’s what facts indicate: Allowing transgender kids to use the bathrooms they choose does not pose danger to other students. Students aren’t successful when their schools communicate they’re not welcome. Suicide attempt rates for transgender people are significantly higher than those for other populations.

Unfortunately, many people ignore these facts and give their feelings too much sway. They are uncomfortable. They feel it’s strange for someone they consider a girl to say he’s a boy. They feel it would be awful for their daughter to use the bathroom at school with a transgender girl in the next stall.

I encourage people to accept being uncomfortable. I believe compassionate people can understand their comfort is not the most important part of this conversation. Compassionate people understand their feelings don’t matter more than people’s lives.

Stephanie LeClair, Paso Robles

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