Michael H. Szostak

Push back on transphobic thinking

A wave of legislation being proposed by states in our country intentionally discriminates against and harms transgender people.

For thousands of years, indigenous people, including our own Native Americans, recognized “two-spirit” people as possessing special gifts. They were honored, not bashed and feared. How did we regress from this thoughtful and decent way of treating people who are unique?

Now, this fear has impacted sports. Regardless of gender identity, there has always been a vast difference between individuals and their natural and developed athletic abilities. Contributing to this difference is wealth and privilege: those kids from wealth often get the special coaching and the privilege of not having to work after school. Of course, there are exceptions, like the kids who struggle to rise from poverty using their athleticism, but that is not the norm.

Today, due to tremendous advances in ways to develop athletes' abilities, some are acquiring almost superhuman power and skill. Yes, much of this is due to hard work and dedication, but some is due to heredity and to being “in the right place at the right time.”...

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Eastes and Becker: people can learn from their mistakes

Change is inevitable and can bring new ideas and innovation; however, some change can be a step backward and lead to harm. Although I appreciate his energy and enthusiasm, Jason Herron would bring to the Guilford Selectboard views that are extremely concerning. Looking at his Facebook posts and rants...

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‘Facts, half-truths, and other rapid-fire information’ dominated meeting

Like many, I tend to hang out with people who have the same basic beliefs and preferences as I do. But I also realize that this practice can give me a biased view of what's going on around me. I know there is a value in my thoughts being...

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Are we welcoming and inclusive?

On Oct. 12, I had the privilege of facilitating a gathering sponsored by the Brattleboro Community Justice Center to discuss: “Is our community welcoming and inclusive to you, your family, and friends?” I can't adequately capture the honesty, compassion, and spirit of those who attended this gathering, a “circle of understanding.” The process has its roots in many indigenous cultures, including Native American, and it supports the belief that gaining a deep understanding with one another forms the foundation for...

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