Transgender treatment: Not religious issue, but one of common sense, decency

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Letter to the editor:

Neighbors, it concerns me that some of our language and actions inadvertently harm and create despair for some of our most vulnerable citizens. I think a little bit of understanding might help replace some of our fears.

What does it mean to be a transgender person? It means you were born with a medical condition whereby your brain and body do not match regarding your gender identity. Medical professionals assist you with a process of integration. Even though physically you may have been born a woman you are transformed into the full identity of being a man.

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I know a transgender man who looks and walks and talks like a man, but started life as a biological female. I also know a transgender woman, who started life as a male. Each has had successful medical treatment and is living a full and integrated life.

Because of the new North Carolina law, the so-called Bathroom Law, each of these individuals is now supposed to go into a bathroom that does not match their identity. In each case the other occupants of the bathroom would be surprised if they were to walk into a bathroom that matches their biology at birth.

Why have we created a bathroom problem, where there was none? I’m not promoting the concept of being a transgender person. You either have this mismatched identity or you do not; about 0.3 percent of the population does. This is an almost unbearable condition. While 4.6 percent of the general population has self-reported an attempted suicide, 41 percent of transgender individuals have. (The Williams Institute 2015)

People I know who are transgender are gentle and kind souls. Why would we want to treat them so viciously and drive them into embarrassing and humiliating situations? We should do better than this. We should be kinder than this.

This is not a religious issue. This is an issue of common sense and human decency.

Virgil Stucker
Tryon, N.C.