Dear Editor(s),

There are many words we could use to describe your actions of this week.

If we were to list them all, you'd be dizzied and astounded by our strong feelings. However, based upon your statements regarding the article "Your Bearcat wants you to understand plural versus singular" we know that feeling will not, unfortunately, persuade you.

You are not ashamed that you allowed such a reprehensible article to be published in your paper. You clearly did not think about the consequences that this article would bring about. Perhaps we could help you understand.

We know that some students skipped class on Friday. Many of us slept poorly. Even more of us have spent most of the days since dwelling on the aforementioned article, thinking about how we, as queer people, as H.E.R.O., should respond.

We wanted to scream. We wanted to walk down to your office and talk to you face to face about this, because you clearly do not understand the gravity of this article.

According to a study conducted by The National Gay and Lesbian Task force and National Center for Transgender Equality, trans* people have an average suicidality rate of 41 percent.

In case you didn't know, the national average is 4.6 percent, and for bisexual, gay, and lesbian folks is between 10 and 20 percent. So, uh, 41 percent is pretty high. Almost half of all trans* people.

Do you understand? Half of us have experienced the desire to end our own lives. So we must ask the question why. Why do trans* people have a higher rate than most? It is largely because of discrimination.

Trans* people are more likely than any other group of people to be estranged by their families because of their gender identity. Friends are more likely to refuse to speak to them, doctors more likely to refuse to treat them. When trans* people enter bathrooms, they are often harassed, and in some cases even assaulted.

Articles like these enforce the stigma that trans* people are somehow wrong and 'other'. They enforce the idea that trans* people should never have existed, that we are somehow from Hell, as though none of us worship the very God you claim would turn us away if we accepted ourselves.

You believe that they/them pronouns used in the singular form are incorrect, grammatically wrong. You say that there are only two genders; that anyone who identifies otherwise is at the least misguided and at the most living in sin. You try to use science to back up your viewpoint, try to scramble for anything that tells you that you are right.

You know that you are wrong though. You know that your actions are deplorable, reprehensible, and disgusting.

You expect us to lash out- to do anything we can to hurt you. We will not stoop to your level. You have chosen to ignore us and tell us that we do not exist: that we are not worthy. We know that we are. When you tell us that we do not exist, that we are not allowed to take up space, we will stand tall.

We will get big, link arms, and shout in support of each other. We will hold each other while we cry, and then help wipe away the tears so we can stand back up and live to fight another day. You are ignorant. You do not understand what you speak of, and we are certain this will not change your mind. But this is not about you, nor has it ever been.

We will have information on educational sessions soon. In the meantime, here are a few studies you may educate yourselves with. We hope you come to believe something different than you currently do.

With hope for the future,

H.E.R.O.

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