We all have various roles and hats to wear in our life. One of the roles that means a great deal to me is being a parent. Relative to The Daily Astorian article of July 29, I feel it is important to be accurate about some details of my public life.

I am the parent of a son and daughter, and my son has two fabulous daughters and an awesome son. One of my granddaughters has a baby boy, thus making me a proud parent, grandparent and great-grandparent. I remain close to my family and love them deeply.

The article provided great coverage about Basic Rights Oregon and people working here toward equality. There are many times more unsung heroes quietly working to celebrate and recognize the diversity of this community. It is a distinct pleasure to be learning from and working along side them in this process.

The article also notes my earlier “coming out” in the 80s, but, again to be accurate, it was recognition of my bisexual orientation. For me, being bisexual means loving a person regardless of their gender. Sexual orientation and gender are two very different aspects of who we are. Coined in the 1900s, homosexual is a relatively archaic clinical term and seldom used in the LGBTQ community to describe ourselves. In this context, I most often refer to myself now as queer and transgender. Queer was once a too frequently heard pejorative taunt, but we have taken it back and use it with pride.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer and/or Questioning people have always been around and continue to be your neighbors and family. More than these current cultural labels, we are also involved in every facet of this community in roles from A to Z. We are fortunate to be living in a progressive era of advancing civil rights for all people in every imaginable role.

Tessa J. Scheller

Clatsop Plains

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