More responses to 'A new man' story | Letters to the Editor
Last updated 12/19/2018 at Noon
Some are born in the wrong bodies
Thank you for lifting up to community awareness and the hardship of some of our children, sisters and brothers who struggle with sexuality (“A new man,” Nov. 29).
These people are our neighbors, live on our street, eat at the next table in a restaurant and sit next to us at the movies.
As a local church pastor for many years I am now retired from the Presbyterian church I assisted our congregation in talking about sexuality, as our national church led the way. When we were growing up, no one talked about being gay, lesbian or trans.
Now these same neighbors are telling their stories. They are our firemen, police officers, teachers, business associates, storeowners, clerks, etc.
About 100 years ago, medical science identified a spectrum of sexuality, noting we all carry a variety but may only express one. Before that time, people were taught there were only two sexes: male and female.
Today, we know and teach more information medically, and living examples are speaking out.
Some young children, teens and adults are becoming aware they are in the wrong bodies or wearing the wrong clothes, as they grow conscious of their feelings.
Jim Fulmer (“Not happy with transgender story,” Letters to the Editor, Nov. 29) wrote that it was" bizarre." No, it is human.
The Hebrew Bible expresses that God created humans ("male and female" was the writers description) and God blessed them. Today, we welcome these humans into our human community: Edmonds, schools churches, and neighborhoods.
God loves each of us, and commands that we love our neighbors. Grounded in God's love for us, we can overcome our fears and choose love for other people like Jess, Cristina and their family
The Rev. Richard K. Gibson Lynnwood
Beacon not interested in uplifting trans people
In all the discussion about the hateful letter in response to "A new man," it seems people have failed to notice that the article itself was highly problematic.
Brian Soergel hit every pitfall that is commonly found in stories about transgender people, pitfalls that could have easily been avoided with even a little bit of online research about how to write respectful trans stories.
I want readers to understand that for most trans people, it's not OK to refer to us by the gender we were assigned at birth, or the pronouns that were used for us before we came out. Referring to Jess as "she" when talking about her past is “misgendering,” something that at best is ignorant and at worst is cruel and harmful.
Granted, some trans people are OK with this kind of misgendering, but that would be a personal choice that was not indicated in the article. To a transgender reader like myself, it was just painful to see Jess misgendered over and over.
It can also be harmful to focus so heavily on the medical aspects of a person's transition. Trans people are trans whether we have surgery or are on hormones or not. It's not OK in normal situations to ask trans people about our surgeries and whether we're getting them.
That is highly personal information. And writing an article that focuses so heavily on the medical aspects of transition makes us sound more like a medical oddity than human beings.
I understand that a lot of people are excited just to see “transness” acknowledged in the paper. That makes us overlook problems like the misgendering and obsessing with trans surgeries. But overall, the article was just not good, though not because Jess isn't brave or inspirational.
And the Beacon has shown itself unwilling to even recognize transphobic hate speech when the inevitable backlash came. The Beacon isn't interested in uplifting trans people. It is only interested in creating its own little media circus.
Cory Hanson Edmonds
Beacon commended for publishing letter
I commend the Beacon’s response to the co-writers of the Guest View column last week regarding the transgender issue (“Publishing letter in response to ‘A new man’ damaging,” Dec. 6).
The hypocrisy of this group is stunning. The Beacon generously afforded them 26 paragraphs to extol their point of view, yet they had the gall to state that another letter writer, with a different opinion, has a right to express himself but does not have a right to be heard.
It is frightening to know there are those in our midst who do not support democracy as we know it.
I seldom agree with The Beacon’s seeming promotion of liberal cultural changes, but I can always rely on them to publish letters of readers with opposing opinions. This is what good journalism is all about.
Thank you, Beacon.