Sumbitted June 10, 2021

Dear Commissioner Metzger,

My name is Brian Spies, and as a member of Lycoming County’s queer community and one of your constituents, I would like to know why you made your hateful, intolerant, transphobic Facebook post from earlier this week private?

Even more, I’d like to know why you made it in the first place?

This kind of hateful rhetoric has no place in our community. I'm a non binary Lycoming County resident and native who routinely, like the child in the book you mentioned, wears a dress despite having been labeled a boy at birth. I'm a proud queer individual and I wish that, as a child who didn't understand their gender identity, not only had books like this existed, but that the James V. Brown Library, our PUBLIC library, had featured them prominently.

Maybe I would have felt less alone, maybe I wouldn't have self harmed and maybe at 15, I wouldn't have needed to have my stomach pumped after I overdosed because I didn't want to live anymore.

Queer individuals exist and have existed in this, and every other community, for as long as people have gathered in groups with shared interests and a desire to become part of something bigger than any one person, which is to say, forever.

We aren’t a creation of 21st century moral decline, that would be the intolerance your words communicated that you’re thinking of. Your message of intolerance is why kids like I was, and adults like I am, are more likely to die from and be subjected to violence, either self inflicted or by individuals emboldened by your message to feel that their actions are moral and will be seen as such as well.

You say that you weren’t motivated by intolerance, that you just want the books to be hidden from impressionable children. My question is, if you knew you were a boy as a child why do you think I was any less able to understand that I wasn't one despite what society told me? That the scores of queer children don’t know this either?

Please don’t think that people like me can be bullied out of this community or any other. We aren’t going anywhere!


The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed in this letter to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of NorthcentralPa.com. 

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