Tracker Pixel for Entry

​We need to rethink how we’re treating each other

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | April 11th, 2018

On March 31, 2018 a young transgender person took their life in Bismarck. Chance Houle was 12 years old, a seventh grader, a child in Bismarck, North Dakota.

According to the obituary, “Throughout the last 6 months of her life, she experienced continual transition and intense bullying at school.”

Everything about this is heartbreaking. Cherish “Chance” Houle’s obituary and story are going viral. Another sad thought, Chance came out as transgender this year and every media outlet in our state that covered the tragic story misgendered Houle.

An article published by Forum News Service on April 4th ended with:

The girl is survived by her mom, Jessica; her dad, Nathan; siblings, Santana, Sonte, Maliyah, Nathan Jr., and Yuri; her grandmas, Marina Chiefstick and Judy Nelson; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Visitation for the girl is on Thursday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to noon at the funeral home.

Note: “The girl is survived,” and “Visitation for the girl."

None of the other obituaries listed on Inforum were worded like this, though none of the deceased that we came across were that young. With all due respect,“The girl” sounds dismissive and is clearly the wrong choice of words when addressing a transgender youth. Clearly Chance had trouble finding peace in life. Give the child peace in death. Use a first name or use a last name. Where’s the sensitivity and where’s the respect?

Wording is everything when words are your work. As journalists, we need to take this into consideration. It’s a really tough topic to broach and we all need to learn proper pronoun usage while addressing a transgender individual. In fact, it’s our responsibility. When we learn the rest of the population learns. Well, at least the population who keeps up with current events.

This isn’t a political platform and isn’t a place for one paper attacking another. This is the tragic death of a child. We need to handle these stories with kid gloves to give these individuals -- family included -- the respect they deserve.

We express our deepest condolences to the Houle family as well as Chance’s peers. There’s nothing harder than losing a child. We all have so many questions and so many words we wish Chance could hear and see.

Bullying won’t stop overnight but we really need to rethink how we are treating each other. We need to get over the “sticks and stones” mentality. Words can be just as lethal as sticks and stones. It doesn’t matter how old we are whether we’re interacting face to face or profile to profile. We need to be good to each other. Tell your kids to be good to each other. Tell your parents to be good to each other. Take it upon yourself to be good to others. Sing it from the mountain or sing it from a skyscraper.

Cherish “Chance” Houle’s obituary read, “The ugly truth of bullying is someone who loved Cherish had to open the bedroom door and see what they saw on Saturday. The ugly truth of bullying is those who loved Cherish can’t close their eyes at night because they can’t get the image out of their head. The ugly truth of bullying is doing CPR for 4 minutes and 26 seconds. It’s listening to 911 operator tell you to go faster and push harder. It’s knowing that you didn’t open the door early enough for it to matter anyway. It’s that Cherish isn’t here anymore.”

Recently in:

News

​Expecting suicides

by C.S. Hagen

BISMARCK – Jessie Quinn and J.S. may soon have two choices: relocate, buy black-market opioids, or commit suicide, and Quinn’s options are even more limited. At 65 years old and after 25 years battling degenerate spinal issues,…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.com“North Dakota (and Minnesota) nice” is an attitude, a stereotype, and a way of life that has permeated our region, as well as perceptions of the Midwest, since as long as people have been…

Friday, March 22, 6-8 p.m.Red Raven Espresso Parlor, 916 Main Ave, FargoDigital photos from North Dakota’s backroads. Hornung has been exploring the roads less traveled for close to a decade. Carefully documenting and collecting…

It is possible, even ethical, to stand behind Israel and criticize the nation at the same time. No country, no man or woman, is without fault. While we at the High Plains Reader believe the U.S. House of Representatives’…

The Battle Between Extreme Capitalism And Democratic SocialismAfter Vice-President Mike Pence representing racial and extreme capitalism ended his scathing rant about democratic socialism at the Conservative Political Action…

The eighth week of this year’s HPR Cocktail Showdown was another tripleheader for our panel of judges. On this particular week, we found ourselves focused on a trio of downtown dining and entertainment establishments to visit…

In rural Minnesota, outside of Park Rapids, Amy Thielen was attempting to light her wood-fired oven. It is in her brand-new kitchen that she hopes to teach cooking classes out of, which is a far cry from what it was when she and…

The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra has had its fair share of guest performances headlining its concerts over the years. They all have impressive resumes, their fair share of awards, and worldwide recognition. However, bringing…

The 19th Fargo Festival begins on Tuesday, March 19th and runs until Saturday, March 23. Continuing a tradition of excellence in local arts programming, the event provides both casual moviegoers and cinephiles with multiple…

Hidden away in the tiny North Dakota town of Lefor I find Karen Valley, an author and an artist. She is without a doubt the artist’s artist. Her soul is art, talent and words. Meeting her is a true experience in finding a soul so…

To many people unfamiliar with the wide range of the musical genre, the word ‘opera’ conjures up stereotypical images of people in period costumes and large women in Viking garb singing in foreign languages. The truth, however,…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

I’ve got a problem. I need to write a column that is going to be kind of critical of three people I like, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it without making them all angry at me. Their names are Sara, Doug and Marvin.…