Thank you for doing the story about Chloe, the transgender teen who opted for suicide. As one who has known many transgender people over the years, I cannot think of a sadder way or reason to end one's life.
There is a long list of people we can blame, too: Islam, social progressives, Franklin Roosevelt and Lady Gaga. The founding fathers wouldn't have stood for that crap. I know this because Glenn Beck told me. Why waste time reading when you can let a prophet tell you all you need to know?
That's why I offered to go down to rescue those Chilean miners -- and stay there. Sure it was a bummer living a half-mile underground for two months. But two months without Sean Hannity and Nancy Grace is not a bad way to live.
Dave Silverbrand, Eureka
Thank you for publishing Ryan Burns' well-written article about the story of Chloe and her parents' ability to turn such a devastating personal experience into a springboard for positive social awareness and education. Tears streamed down my face when I read of the suicide of this vibrant, beautiful young woman. Such a loss ... all because of the effect of hatred, fear, and ignorance of so many in our society. Thank you so much for listing some of the resources available.
Several years ago, a man I had developed a deep relationship with confided to me that he had, in fact, always felt he should be female. I was supportive through the period of transition and surgery, as were my parents, but a few of his family members reacted with fear and couldn't quite come to terms with this.
Kudos to Allison Murphy for reacting with support, unconditional love and intelligence. My heart goes out to this brave woman and her husband.
At the time of my former partner's transition (around 20 years ago), I began to notice that we were able to locate some good support groups and psychologists in this field to oversee the transition my partner was going through, mostly in the Bay Area, but not much in the way of support for the kids of transgender people. We had a small child at the time and I wanted to make sure I had my finger on every resource out there if issues came up that I felt I needed help with.
I discovered an organization by the name of COLAGE (Children Of Lesbians And Gays are Everywhere). Colage is a national movement of children, youth and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents. Colage builds community and works towards social justice through youth empowerment, leadership development, education and advocacy. Even though kids of transgenders make up a tiny part of this organization, we did get enough kids together for several workshops & pizza parties. Unfortunately, the closest chapter is in San Francisco, which might be too far for some to travel, but their website is very informative and links to much information.
I was very impressed with the people (of all ages) who make up this organization: confident, compassionate, intelligent, socially aware and politically active. The youth leaders are particularly impressive. It was a comfortable, fun and engaging experience.
My child has never been confused or suffered any bullying because of the other parent being transgender. This is due in part to being raised in a community where people have really made an effort to understand -- we have remained open to any questions that someone might have over the years; it's pretty much a non-issue at this point -- and has to do with an atmosphere of love, communication, understanding, confidence and stability at home.
Through our meeting some of the other families at the workshops and gatherings, I learned that this was not always the case. Colage was even more helpful for those families as a tool for understanding.
Marianne Odisio, Redway
Sweet Spot: Marianne Odisio wins a Bon Boniere sundae for sending our favorite letter of the week.