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01/11/2023 08:00 AM

Is This How We Want ARPA Funds Spent?

On Oct. 25, the Guilford Human Rights Commission (GHRC) sponsored a presentation at the Guilford Community Center entitled “Transgender 101.” It was “geared towards the 13+ age group, with the goal of making Guilford a supportive community for trans and LGBTQ.”

It featured Jillian Celentano, a 60-year-old transgender woman who began her transition in 2015. Celentano authored a book entitled Transitioning Later in Life, is a community liaison at the Yale Gender Program, and is a genders and sexualities alliance instructor. She also advocates for gender-affirming care for children. On her website, she says her mission is “(t)o help trans youth avoid growing up without any resources or support [and] to support parents so they can fully accept their children before, during, and after the transition process.“

From the October 2022 GHRC meeting minutes we learn that to publicize this event, the GHRC “sent a flyer to the high school principal for distribution, [posted the flyer] at the library, reached out to the Adams [Middle School] principal,…contacted the middle school/high school Human Rights clubs,…shared the event info with the ABAR [Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist] alliance, (and made) Gender-bread handouts for the event.” We also learn that the Guilford Foundation sponsored the honorarium to pay Celentano to speak at this event. Shouldn’t the GHRC then also be obligated to present the opposing viewpoint?

From the Dec. 19, Board of Selectman meeting, we learn that Guilford will be giving $500,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Guilford Foundation to distribute to non-profit entities which promote events like “Transgender 101.” Is this how we want our ARPA funds being spent?

Dave Holman