April 2008

Gender Roles

I would like to commend 5280 on its excellent story on Lucia and her family ["Second Nature," March]. As the mother of an 8-year-old affirmed female and president of TransYouth Family Allies, I often see inaccurate and biased reporting when it comes to the youngest members of the transgender community. Max Potter not only used wonderful resources in Drs. Spack and Menvielle, he clearly understood and captured the essence of who Lucia is. Potter portrayed the feelings that her family endured accurately and compassionately. He truly hit a home run on this one. Thank you so much for the honest, factual, compassionate portrayal of this lovely little girl and her wonderfully supportive family. TransYouth Family Allies works to educate the world on the journey these families negotiate with their trans children, and we appreciate journalists like Max Potter who make our jobs a bit easier.
Shannon Garcia
via e-mail

Thank you for your wonderful story "Second Nature." As a mother of a 14-year-old transgender child who transitioned over two years ago, I still find it interesting to read the stories of other transgender children and their families, as it makes me feel less alone. I feel that it is very important to educate society in order to make the world safe for all of our transgender children. Thank you for helping.
Karina Mari
via e-mail

I've read many newspaper stories about transgendered people, but none have struck me as viscerally as yours. I'm sitting here literally in tears. Thank you. In the face of the almost unimaginable deluge of hate we face from the religious right and their ilk, I'm convinced that thoughtful pieces like "Second Nature" are the best hope we have to make people understand who and what we are and what we face trying to find our place in society. I am a post-operative, male-to-female transsexual, so it's no stretch to understand why I relate to your story. How many times have I dreamt that my parents, who were wonderful people, could have done for me what Judy and Michael have been doing for Lucia?

I turn 60 next week, and I transitioned only within the last decade. I delayed my transition until both my parents were dead. I look back on my life largely with sadness as I contemplate all the years I lost in the fog of gender confusion and my own timidity to act on what my inner voice never stopped telling me since I was three years old.
Debra Soshoux
Los Angeles

What a wonderful piece ["Second Nature," March]. Max Potter got it right. Your information was researched well and easily understood. We have a M2F daughter who is now 22 years old. She has fully transitioned (had surgery) and her future is bright. There is such a journey, and you shared the beginning of the Martin family's journey so well.
Lisa W.
via e-mail

Child of God

I read Mike Kessler's article regarding "Gilly" in the February issue of 5280 ["The Gift of Gil"] this morning with a cup of coffee and was immediately compelled to write you a thank-you. In a world full of bullshit Britney Spears updates that are completely meaningless, this story made a difference. Honestly, I am most appreciative for Kessler's intuitive nature, and the chain of events that set him upon this mission. Being compelled to seek out a story, a good story, is rare, and Kessler's heartfelt expression is much needed in a world self-obsessed and shallow. Beyond the special life Gilbert has lived, and the people he has touched with his simplicity, Kessler reached out and validated the goodness of the people who have embraced him. Ricktenant and the Fire Fighters at Station 17 should also be commended for doing exactly what we, the general public with a soul, would want them to do.
Skip Garman
via e-mail

I have been reading and re-reading the article about Gilbert Carpinelli. I can't tell you how much it touched my heart.

I grew up in North Denver. My dad had a drug store on 33rd and Tejon, and I grew up down the street from the health-care clinic. All the places Mike Kessler wrote about are so familiar to me, but the story itself is so beautifully written, and the love and respect he has shown for Gilbert is amazing.
Marilyn Vecchiarelli
via e-mail

Letters Policy
We welcome your feedback. Send correspondence to: Letters, 5280, P.O. Box 40789, Denver, CO 80204. We also welcome your thoughts via e-mail at [email protected] or by fax at 303-832-0470. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Please include your address and phone number with all letters. Names can be withheld upon request.