To the editor: I'm saddened by the burning of a transgender teacher's Pride flag at Saticoy Elementary in North Hollywood.

I attended Saticoy and remember it being the first place I heard the f-word — the three-letter version and the six. I would hear other kids use it many times a day.

At first, I didn’t know what it meant, but when I was told it was "a boy who loves another boy," I thought what's wrong with that? Though I didn't have any crushes at the time, I felt capable even as a fifth-grader of loving another boy.

I did get, from the tone with which the word was hurled, that it was a terrible thing. I didn't want to be that.

When the word was applied to me, I was silent, shamed. How could they know? Did I do something? Was it written on my face? After that, even into my 20s, I tried my hardest to act, speak and feel like I fit in, like I wasn't gay.

I hope that the school stresses the acceptance and validity of different kinds of people and families. If some parents don’t want their children to hear that, that’s their right, but I hope all kids can understand that words can hurt and love is love.

John Kluge, North Hollywood


To the editor: One does not need to be an LGBTQ+ person to be appalled by the abuse directed at this community. The people targeting the trans teacher at Saticoy are not conservatives; they are extremists.

It is tragic that they fail to appreciate the measure of a teacher is their ability to inspire students to have an appetite for learning. I was fortunate to have such teachers when I was a child, regardless of their identity. Embracing and appreciating diversity is as important to educating a young person as developing their critical thinking.

Do any of these people who behave so abhorrently realize that their own child may be an LGBTQ+ person, and that their intolerance affects their own child more than the transgender teacher?

Terry Shenkman, Culver City

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

2023-06-05T10:23:02Z dg43tfdfdgfd