Letter: The General Assembly’s war on LGBTQ kids

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The N.C. General Assembly’s GOP leadership will likely call veto override votes on several anti-LGBTQ bills vetoed by Gov. Cooper: HB 574 (Fairness in Women’s Sports Act), HB 808 (Gender Transition/Minors) and SB 49 (Parents’ Bill of Rights). They are all cruel attacks on our young people.

For a long time, we were shielded from the most extreme legislation passed by the Republican majority due to the governor’s veto. But Republicans gained a veto-proof majority with the sudden transformation of state Rep. Tricia Cotham from progressive Democrat to right-wing Republican. Since then, she has voted for every piece of legislation on the Republican agenda.

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act seems to be solving a problem that is extremely rare. It’s estimated that there are 10 transgender women playing in women’s sports in North Carolina. HB 808 steps between parents, their children and their doctors to dictate the care that can be provided. The GOP professes to be protecting parents’ rights but will not trust parents to make decisions for their children.

The so-called Parents’ Bill of Rights (!) would outlaw content in grades K-4 about LGBTQ identities. I’m a parent, and in this instance, my rights are being trampled. I want to raise children who are equipped to navigate a 21st-century world. I want to raise compassionate, empathetic kids who embrace differences. You’ll hear the argument that the bill refers only to “instruction” on these topics. Teachers aren’t teaching this in K-4.

In other states that have passed this kind of legislation, teachers are fired for reading a picture book, librarians are threatened with prosecution if they give the wrong book to a kid, and teachers are forced to lock up classroom libraries for fear the ideas inside might be catching. Books are pulled from shelves on the say-so of a handful of parents.

I don’t expect teachers to parent my children, and I certainly don’t want a small group of parents deciding what is taught (and not taught) to my children. When I was a kid, I read whatever I wanted. If something confused me, I asked my mom, my dad or a teacher. Those discussions were pivotal in my upbringing. Don’t parents want to have these conversations anymore? It’s no wonder there’s a serious teacher shortage and kids aren’t reading for pleasure.

Why are educators and books being picked on? Trust me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but none of them came from between the covers of a book. Knowledge isn’t dangerous, but ignorance is.

— Cinda S. Chima


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2 thoughts on “Letter: The General Assembly’s war on LGBTQ kids

  1. indy499

    Your logic is pretty dreadful and I hope isn’t indicative of the kind of education you advocate:

    1. It isn’t the number of former males participating in women’s sports , it is the number of women whose ability to compete and succeed in a sport is foreclosed by testosterone developed women competing against them. There can be only one champion. The NCAA 100 free women’s champ was a mediocre on a good day men’s swimmer, who used his male puberty developed muscles to beat the women who had worked hard their entire sports life to compete for a championship. Most Americans find that to be unfair and nonsensical.

    2. If teachers aren’t teaching k-4 LGBT material what diffferent does it make that a law prevents it from being taught? Either it is being taught in places or the law doesn’t mean anything except to irritate you for some reason.

  2. gapple

    K-4 should be learning to Read, Write and do math, not about the LGBT community. That is why our nation’s children are not performing: poor teachers and mandate social justice curriculum.

    And if there are only 10 people affected, then why are you and others making such a big deal on their behalf. They have the right to participate in men’s sports; so no foul.

    In regards to books in school, are you okay with previously banned books (Huck Finn) in their original uncensored format?

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