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Letter: Remember: Someone you love is LGBTQ+

Someone in your life has struggled with their sexuality and identity. And it is dangerous for queer youth to grow up with people in authority viewing them as damaged, or as a threat.

Letter to the editor FSA
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June is Pride Month, a time to remember the progress made by the LGBTQ+ Community. Their right to marry, to live as their true gender identity, and their most basic right to live, all hard fought through years of struggle and activism. Now, in 2022, a record number of Americans identify as LGBTQ+, with some estimates as high as 25% among Gen Z.

Despite this, there has been an alarming resurgence in language targeting LGBTQ+ youth, with much of it aimed at the parents and teachers who support them. Those supporting queer youth have been labeled as groomers, imposing an unwanted lifestyle upon them. Candidates for the Grand Forks school board have repeated these accusations and have campaigned upon them as well.

Every reputable doctor and psychiatrist will tell you it is not possible to change an individual’s sexuality or gender identity. It is not something that can be forced or “indoctrinated” into children. Many are aware of their identities from a very young age. Others learn much later in life.

It is important to understand that the rise in queer individuals is not because of some insidious agenda. This is simply because culture has become more welcoming and accepting of individuals like this. The only “agenda” LGBTQ+ individuals have is to live freely, love openly, and be true to themselves.

This is worth celebrating because someone you love, a relative, a coworker, a friend, possibly even a child identifies as LGBTQ+. Someone in your life has struggled with their sexuality and identity. And it is dangerous for queer youth to grow up with people in authority viewing them as damaged, or as a threat.

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Words have power. So speak with compassion and understanding for those in the LGBTQ+ Community. Speak and as though someone you love is a part of that community. More than that, act as though an attack on queer youth is an attack on someone you love. Because, statistically speaking, it is.

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