Letter in Fairfax County: Gender identity

Letter in Fairfax County: Gender identity

Not everyone’s understanding of their gender identity lines up

with the label they were given when they were born. This is OK. No one

is hurt by this. For transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive

people to ask to live their lives in dignity and safety is to ask no

more than anyone else asks. The pundits, preachers, and politicians

pushing the tidal wave of legislation making life miserable for gender

nonconforming adults, young people, and their families are deeply wrong

and the legislation they are pushing must be stopped and struck down.

Lives are in the balance.

A few cherry-picked Bible verses must not be allowed to outweigh the

bright thread woven throughout the Bible that we must love and care for

each other, particularly the vulnerable and abused. As a Christian and a

seminary student, it is that bright thread that informs all that I hope

to do. I have worked with young people for many years in church, sports,

and scouting settings. Several times, I have been the first adult that a

young person has talked to about their identity; one of them was my own

child. I can still hear the tremor in their voices and the deep breath

they took before hearing themselves say words they had clearly practiced

in their heads a hundred times but could not be sure would not end up

bringing them harm. I wish I were as brave as those young people.

My response was to assure them that they were safe and to ask them what

they need. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Too many LGBTQ

youth experience discrimination and abuse, even from their own families.

Rates of attempted suicide are higher for LGBTQ youth than their

non-minority peers and climb even higher when they abused and


All any of us want is to be left alone to be who we are. LGBTQ people,

young or old, just want the same thing. Contrary to some fears and

fantasies, queer kids are not just falling prey to TikTok fads, trans

and nonbinary kids are not faking their way into girls’ bathrooms or

cheating at track meets, and advocates for LGBTQ acceptance are not

recruiting anyone to anything. We need to raise our voices in opposition

to those trying to erase our precious LGBTQ siblings.