Letters to the Editor: July 8, 2023

Remember Leelah Alcorn? She was the transgender teen from Kings Mills who, on December 28, 2014, shocked the nation by stepping into the path of a tractor trailer on Interstate 71. Prior to her death, Leelah wrote, “To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4.” When Leelah came out as transgender, her parents denied her request to receive gender-affirming treatment, choosing instead to send her to conversion therapy. In her suicide note, Leelah wrote, “The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was. They’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something.” Sadly, things are about to get worse for young Ohioans like Leelah. HB 68, which has already passed our House of Representatives, prevents doctors from giving puberty blockers and hormone therapy to trans youth. HB 6, also recently passed by the House, requires educators to notify parents about “any request by a student to identify as a gender that does not align with the student’s biological sex.” According to the Trevor Project’s 2023 survey of mental health of LGBTQ youth, one in five transgender and nonbinary young people attempted suicide this past year. Should these bills be approved by the Senate, our Ohio legislators will be pushing them over the proverbial cliff ... or into the path of another tractor trailer.

- Kathy Swensen, Miamisburg

People usually ignore special elections held in August. If you value democracy, please, don’t ignore next month’s election. Issue 1 is on the ballot and if it passes by a simple majority vote, it will make it almost for citizens to amend the state constitution in the future. The passage of Issue 1 does two things. First, it makes it far more difficult for citizens to place an issue on the ballot. Finally, if an issue does make it to the ballot the new threshold for passage requires a super majority of 60% for approval. Issue 1 transfers power from citizens into the hands of career politicians. If you don’t want that to happen, show up and vote no.

- James Carr, Huber Heights