Springfield News-Sun

To those with gender dysphoria, acceptance will come

- R. Gregg Cross lives in Xenia and was an American Government and World Geography teacher for 35 years with the Beavercree­k school system.

Recently, there was a series of articles in the Dayton Daily News that discussed the possible effects of HB 68 on individual­s experienci­ng gender dysphoria. My initial thought was “here we go again, another case of intoleranc­e and misunderst­anding of people who are different from the mainstream.”

Yes, I had a great deal of empathy for those young people and their parents who are searching for a solution, medical or otherwise, to bring an inner peace to those who feel the necessity of transition­ing.

Regardless of my empathy, it is just a matter of time before our state accepts the fact that these transition­ing individual­s are deserving as any other citizen of medical treatment regardless of age. Our history is replete with battles for equal rights. Regardless of constituti­onal safeguards — or lack thereof — for decades I’ve watched women, African Americans, Native Americans, gays, and other minorities struggle for the same rights and dignity as white males in general.

Many of us have difficulty accepting somebody who may look different or feel different than we do. As a public school teacher for 35 years, I’ve learned to appreciate all of my students regardless of sexual orientatio­n, extreme political philosophy, emotional difference­s, hair color or whatever else made them distinct from the mainstream.

I’ve been retired for 14 years and back in the early 2000′s I had a female student that I believe everybody thought, including myself, was gay. It was no secret. We could have open discussion­s on gay rights and everything was fine. This student, however, is now a transgende­red male, extremely successful after graduating from college, and a credit to his chosen vocation. Wouldn’t it have been a shame if she would have suffered some form of discrimina­tion, physical and/ or psychologi­cal, that prevented her from being a transgende­r male and ultimately prevented him from being productive — and more importantl­y — from being happy?

Years ago, we were having a classroom discussion on projected demographi­c changes for the United States. It was projected at that time that around 2042 that white Americans would become the minority and all other minority groups combined would be the new majority. Perhaps it was a totally innocent question, but a young man sitting in the back of the classroom raised his hand and said, “Mr. Cross, what are we going to do?”

Some of the students had perplexed looks on their faces and the kind of look that teachers have all seen before: “I can’t believe he said that.”

I replied, “What do you mean?”

The young man continued, “You know. What are we going to do?”

My simple reply, “I guess we’re just going to have to get used to it.”

End of discussion.

For those parents and their children who are suffering from gender dysphoria, your time of acceptance and proper medical care will eventually come. And then, as we have on numerous occasions, everybody will just have to get used to it.

 ?? ?? Gregg Cross
Gregg Cross

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