Letters to the Editor: June 21, 2017

No mistakes

It’s Pride Month! It’s that happy time of the year when people who aren’t ashamed of their sexuality and gender identity get to feel some form of representation. Unfortunately, it’s also that lovely time of year when people step up their efforts to make us feel subhuman.

I’ve been an advocate for years, and in truth, it’s partially because I had been hiding from myself. So, after almost 40 years on this planet, I came out to everyone; I revealed that I had known I was female since I was a child. It’s not an easy thing to admit, especially when you’ve been pretty boss at presenting as a male. To say it caught everyone off guard (especially my wife) would be an understatement.

In the nine months I’ve been out, I have taken to living full time as a woman. I am accepted by my friends, family and coworkers. I am proud! But a quick glance at any comment section relating to LGBTQ issues also brings to light another emotion: terror. Much to the chagrin of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, we are victims of terrorists. These people practice sociopathic behaviors by trying to utilize hate-speech, bully-tactics and even violence to make us feel unworthy of existence.

The trans community alone has a reported 41 percent suicide rate, and as someone who’s personally dealt with ideations my whole life, I must stress that this isn’t actually a mental health issue.

Of course, that is the basis of every comment attempting to marginalize us.

What these people fail to realize is that suicidal ideation and attempts are borne out of two factors. First, the inability for an individual to live as their true self because of society’s disdain for treating all humans as humans. Second, after coming out, they have to actually face society’s disdain for treating all humans as humans. The actual mental health issue is with those who feel compelled to harm us. Greater damage is perpetrated when people choose to be the spokesperson for the almighty, hence the birth of the “God doesn’t make mistakes” argument.

This is the truest lie ever told. What of anyone born with a birth defect? Would you then deny them rights to treatments that could make them feel more normal in our society? And if you do think that those born disabled should have access to treatments that lend normalcy to their existence, then how is that any different than allowing someone to be Out and Proud if it brings them peace with their own self? The truth is we aren’t mistakes.

Kira Wertz
Oklahoma City

Pull my finger

“Clean renewable energy” (Opinion, Letters to the editor, “Sweeping wind,” Jody Harlan, March 22, Oklahoma Gazette) is an oxymoron. One needs to peel back the layers of the onion to get a more balanced perspective. Consider what’s required to make a “windmill”: turbines made in China using rare earth minerals mined in near-slave conditions; brass, copper, steel, precious metals used in manufacturing stanchions; excavation and concrete and macadam; all transported by those icky fossil fuel-burning vehicles; and I didn’t even get into the support and transmission infrastructure.

One medium-size power plant on approximately 30 acres supports a city of about 300,000, whereas wind-generated power requires thousands of acres and multiple mini distribution networks. Also, wind turbines and solar farms are avian abattoirs, immolating millions of birds and bats each and every year.

I guess it depends on what your definition of “clean” is. The fluctuations of all fungible commodities in global markets, as well as domestic, are mostly the result of supply/demand issues. Inasmuch as we have more oil, natural gas and coal than the rest of the world combined, we should be the major influence in that equation. However, until Jan. 20, our government severely restricted, impeded, banned or otherwise stopped this effort. This situation is being changed even as I write.

Jody Harlan opines that “electricity produced by wind turbines is the cheapest source of electricity.” Whoa! Even with all of the subsidies, credits, incentives and the rest of the giveaways, wind-produced electricity is at least double that produced by coal, gas, oil or nuclear. Moreover, it gets real expensive without the federal and state goodies and when you add the cost of a parallel coal/gas/oil production to provide power when the winds don’t blow or the sun don’t shine. Wind and solar-provided power is subject to the peaks and valleys on Mother Nature’s mood.

Renewable energy gets 49 times more in federal incentives than do coal/gas/oil for each Btu of power. Fossil fuel companies pay over $30 billion per year to the federal treasury, and renewable energy gains over $10 billion per year. I guess it depends on what your definition of “cheaper” is. We live in interesting times.

Pete Lepo
Edmond

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to jchancellor@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Kira Wertz

This article was written by an Oklahoma Gazette contributor. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story's headline in your subject line.

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