STEPHANIE AND CHARLIE NAKHLEH
We applaud the Los Alamos Arts Council’s decision to host a Pride-themed summer-camp class, where middle- and high-school students have an opportunity to explore LGBTQ+ Pride via a variety of art forms. LGBTQ+ students face disproportionate bullying and discrimination, and suffer a commensurately high suicide risk, so this kind of programming can be literally lifesaving for some of our most vulnerable young people. The LAAC’s class offering is a wonderful step in the right direction.
Unfortunately, there has been a predictably hateful response to this simple, supportive, completely voluntary art class. One of the most damaging and long-debunked claims the letter-writer makes is that LGBTQ+ support is somehow linked to pedophilia. The truth is that the vast majority of child molesters are heterosexual. They are, in fact, married men who target children in their network of family and friends. If the letter-writer wants to identify a cohort to keep kids away from, the data would indicate she should probably look to the straight married men around her.
We could write this sad individual off as someone who enjoys stirring the pot, someone who is virtue-signaling to her small bigoted tribe, and someone who should be ignored and deprived of that attention she seeks—except that some young people in town might interpret silence as acquiescence. We do not acquiesce.
Los Alamos is an inclusive community—as the letter-writer must know from the town’s response to her last homophobic performative tizzy. Like the vast majority of people in our community, we stand behind our LGBTQ+ young people and support the LAAC in offering this class.