MY “open” letter to Target…

Dear Target Decision Makers,

This letter is not akin to those you’ve recently received. I am not writing to condemn you. I am not writing to declare that you’ve lost my business. I am not writing to tell you that I am staging a boycott of your stores. On the contrary, I am writing to thank you.

I find it nearly impossible to put in to words the disappointment, the utter bewilderment I feel when I read the criticism that is flooding the media about your recent decision to allow “transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”  I have read the protesters’ “open” letters, and I have become well-versed in two things from these reads: our country is inundated with discrimination and our communities are exploding with false judgement.  These “open” letters damn the honest and punish the innocent.

Thank you, Target, for standing up to the mass discrimination against transgender individuals. These individuals are being painted by your cruel protesters as miscreants of the worst kind: sexual predators. These transgender individuals have committed no crimes, yet they are being condemned as threatening, perverted, and dangerous. Thank you for realizing that these human beings are not criminals; they are law-abiding, honest, decent people just trying to figure out how to maneuver through this complicated world.

Thank you, Target, for standing up to the mass discrimination against transgender individuals. As a high school teacher, I have the opportunity and good fortune to work with transgender teenagers. These kids are struggling to find acceptance in a world that judges them with Draconian force. These kids want to have the same opportunities that other kids have- regardless of their gender identity. They are taunted, they are bullied, and they often feel completely alone. Thank you for being their advocate, their role model.

Thank you, Target, for standing up to the mass discrimination against transgender individuals. Thank you for realizing that it is a bathroom- a place to relieve bladders-and thus not destined to become some sort of  den of iniquity. Transgender people simply seek bladder relief just like every other human.

You said,”Everyone deserves to feel like they belong.” I can’t believe how many in our world disagree with this very simple, important statement. Thank you, Target, for your fair and positive treatment of your employees and customers. Thank you for refusing to cave to the masses who preach hatred. Thank you for paving the way for an end to discrimination. Thank you for standing up for a group of human beings who are being criminalized for choosing a gender that better fits them.

If you need me, look for me in the Target nearest my house. I’ll be there. And I’ll stop by the bathroom if I need to go.

Sincerely,

Heidi Campbell

 

 

A letter to a misguided judge…

Dear Mr. Utah Judge,

Sometimes I am, admittedly, naive. I have always associated “justice” with my personal definition of a “judge”. I have defined a “judge” as a thoughtful academic, an individual who upholds the constitution of our great country- one who seeks to make decisions based on fairness and humanity. The decision you made last week, to remove a foster child from the care of a married lesbian couple, was not only unfair and inhumane, it was a slap directed to the faces of our Supreme Court justices who, like most honorable Americans, embrace marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Apparently, however,  you’ve had an epiphany. After the media backlash, you have rescinded your decision. You have allowed the couple to keep the child, with the understanding, as reported by CNN,  that there would be “further hearings”. You have temporarily appeased the masses, but these “future hearings” reek of suspicious motives…

Again, my naive mind wonders if it could be possible that you have truly changed your mind, and realized the error of your ways? Maybe you’ve had a sincere change of heart? As a believer in rehabilitation, I do believe everyone can change and make themselves better humans. In fact, if I were a judge, I would send you to my own sort of rehabilitation facility. I would order you get to know one of a million same-sex couples who are raising loving families. I can suggest a handful in my small world who would reshape your misguided prejudice.

These “two-mom” or “two-dad” families ARE traditional, Mr. Utah Judge. They love their children. They pray with their children. They go to sporting events and activities and cheer on their children. They provide kisses for booboos, hugs for tears, and consequences for misbehavior. They worry, they smile, and they live for their children. Their kids go to school and they come home and tell their two moms or two dads about the day’s activities. There is nothing untraditional about the way that these families raise their kids. They are human beings, and great parents.

You made your initial decision without knowing these two mothers. You, a judge who makes life and death decisions every day, threw away your impartiality in favor of discrimination. The implications of this sort of reckless disregard for the law is alarming.

But you corrected your error, Mr. Utah Judge, and for that, I am grateful. My internal optimism for humanity is willing to believe in you, cautiously of course. I am willing to take your backpedaling as a sign that you’ve come to your proverbial senses.  Thank you for that. Thank you for accepting the oath of your position which understands that “all men are created equal” in our country.

You have taken a step in the right direction. I encourage you to follow the laws, and refrain from allowing your own personal prejudices to corrupt your societal decisions. I hope that you will think of the best needs of the children in our communities, children who are loved and cared for by same-sex parents.

Stay on track, Mr. Utah Judge. Please help me, and others,  restore our faith in the judicial system of the United States. Discrimination is an unwelcome intruder in our courtrooms.

Sincerely,

Heidi Campbell