The Opposing Viewpoint
I would like to thank both Rachel Daniels (Jan. 26, “Growing as a Caring and Supportive Community”) and Carol Hwang (Feb. 2, “Baffled”) for commenting on my Jan. 11 letter, “Is This How We Want Our ARPA Funds Spent?”. In their letters, both they posed the same question concerning the Guilford Human Rights Commission's (GHRC) Oct. 25, 2022 presentation on transgenderism. Specifically, “what is the opposing viewpoint … the GHRC should be obligated to present?” Thank you, Rachel and Carol, for this opportunity to answer your question.
The October GHRC presentation, Community Forum on Transgender Rights, featured Jillian Celentano, a transgender woman who was given a $750 honorarium by GHRC through a grant from The Guilford Foundation and Guilford Savings Bank. In their budget for 2023-’24, the Town of Guilford is proposing to give the Guilford Foundation $500,000 of Guilford ARPA funds.
Jillian is a well-known speaker who has given her Transgender 101 presentation in over 80 Connecticut communities, including towns surrounding Guilford. She is an advocate for “gender-affirming care,” like puberty blockers and hormone replacement treatment (HRT) for children, and, in fact, refers to puberty blockers as “lifesaving.”
The GHRC tells me that they instructed Jillian to eliminate any discussion of gender-affirming care from October speech and paid her a higher honorarium to do so because she had to alter her standard speech, but since Jillian is such a well-known outspoken advocate for gender-affirming care, the mere fact that they invited her to speak without issuing a disclaimer, means that they endorsed her positions.
The opposing viewpoint is that gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy, should never be recommended for children under 18. They are dangerous, often irreversible, cause sterilization, and are, in effect, child abuse. Our kids need to hear this message, also.