Letter: All of our children should feel accepted in our schools and communities
Cara Cody-Braun writes, "Please contact your legislators today and urge them to vote against all the bills that discriminate against our transgender citizens."
There are numerous bills coming before the North Dakota Legislature this week that are discriminatory toward transgender people. These bills are bad for our state and especially harmful to North Dakota youth.
There have always been children who did not feel comfortable with their biological gender. In the past they had to try to conform to societal expectations or be ostracized. Nowadays, we know that there are biological gender differences in brains, not only genitalia. Fortunately, people can now choose to lead the life that matches up with the person they know themselves to be.
I have heard some of the fear-based rhetoric that says “schools are teaching ‘woke’ agendas.” As a middle school teacher, I work every day to teach the content of my class. My colleagues all do the same. There are students who let me know they prefer to be called by a pronoun that may conflict with how I normally would address them. By respecting their wishes, I suppose I am teaching that I accept them. While I have never had a student react in anger if I forget, I have seen relief and appreciation when I get it right.
The youth in our state are a precious resource. I believe most North Dakotans agree that all of our children should feel accepted in our schools and communities. Living an authentic life is always going to be more wholesome than a life lived in fear, hiding, or self-loathing. Please contact your legislators today and urge them to vote against all the bills that discriminate against our transgender citizens.
Cara Cody-Braun lives in Wyndmere, N.D.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.