The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 2, 2010




“An unkind and biased characterization”

To the Editor:

I was saddened to read the letter from Sally Naumann published last week, which reflects a very negative judgment on the transgender experience, using labels such as “severe psychological problem,” “mental disorder,” and “makeover.”

The First Religious Society voted to become a Welcoming Congregation years ago, to combat discrimination and violence toward bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender persons. As the minister of the congregation, I feel a need to respond publicly to what I see as an unkind and biased characterization.

The coming days, which mark observances of the Exodus story at Passover and the crucifixion on Good Friday, would be a good time to reflect on how labeling people as “other” has caused vast amounts of human suffering.

Rev. Diane Miller

Church Street

Other sources of transgender information

To the Editor:

In her letter in last week’s Mosquito, Sally J. Naumann has rightly expressed sympathy for the family of the transperson she saw described in a recent CNN program. It is indeed unsettling and poignant when a family has to adjust to a loved one’s transition from male to female or female to male. The mere idea of gender reassignment surgery is frightening to many people who have grown up never questioning their biological gender.

But many – perhaps most – transpeople know when they’re as young as three that they’re not the gender they appear to be. And the prospect of remaining their apparent birth gender forever is as frightening to them as changing it can be to their families. In the past, before sexual reassignment surgery was an option, many transpeople suffered severe depression or committed suicide. Now, increasing numbers are able to opt for varying levels of hormone therapy and/or surgery, and thereby live more comfortable, honest, fulfilled lives. They are not suffering from “a mental disorder” as Naumann, using the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality as her source, says. For years NARTH has been disseminating bogus “scientific” information about homosexuality and claiming that gays can change, contrary to the findings of the American Psychological Asssociation. It is no surprise to me that NARTH is going after transpeople now.

Just as no one knows for sure what causes people to be gay, no one knows for sure what causes people to be transgender. Research has suggested that a genetic mutation or exposure in utero to certain hormones may be a causal factor. Before making pronouncements about sexuality and gender, it is wise to research a variety of theories and sources – and, when possible, to meet and get to know the people involved.

PFLAG--Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays--has a good pamphlet called “Our Trans Children.” The American Psychological Association has one too, available in PDF form: “Answers to Your Questions about Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity.” Both offer another view from NARTH and similar anti-LGBT organizations.

Nancy Garden

Ember Lane

Support for Gorecki

To the Editor:

I have lived in Carlisle for more than 35 years. During that time, I’ve met many men and women who generously volunteered their time and talents to make Carlisle a wonderful place to live. John Gorecki is such a volunteer. He is a kind and conscientious neighbor who is willing to lend a hand to make life easier for his neighbors.

Carlisle faces many complex issues in the near future. I believe that John Gorecki has the ability and knowledge to help us as a community move forward and make these difficult choices.

I encourage you to join me and cast your vote for John Gorecki for Selectman.

Helen D. Taylor

Hemlock Hill

Mysterious sign

To the Editor:

About two months ago, someone put a rectangular metal sign made to identify a mailbox into our mailbox. On both sides the sign says “Supnik” and “601” which is our correct name and address. There was no note saying who gave it to us. My calls to the post office and police dispatcher gave no clues to our mystery. Hanging a sign on my mailbox asking the donor to call us yielded no results.

I’m writing to the Mosquito in hopes that someone will read this letter and contact me to say that they gave us this sign. I’d like to thank them and ask why they gave it to us anonymously. If anyone can help solve this mystery, please call us at 1-978-369-7292.

Martha Supnik

Heald Road

Thanks to Public Works

To the Editor:

We are used to the excellent service of Gary Davis and his Public Works team during snow storms and for road maintenance. This note is to thank the Public Works folks for their extraordinary service to our family during this water flooding situation. Many thanks and hopefully the water situation will not reoccur in our lifetimes.

Geoffrey and Martha Bentley

Autumn Lane

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