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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Dial Versus Inclusivity

By Janalee Gage


September 24, 2022

Ketchikan likes to say we are a community that comes together and supports each other in times of need, and I have seen this repeatedly. Still, I have also seen it used to put shackles upon those of us who identify in marginalized groups if we do not get in line with a select group.

In the past year, we have heard mayor Dial point fingers at marginalized community members and blame them for division and unrest within the community. We have listened to people speak about how they have nothing against LGBTQAI+ community members, and they treat them equally every day, and in the same breath, call them monsters, lump them in with pedophiles and say they are indoctrinating members into a cult.

Let's talk about who divides and creates unrest in the community, Mr. Dial. His current ad states voting for him will keep Ketchikan Affordable, prosperous, friendly, and safe. Really, for who? Those in the community who have the greatest wealth and go to specific religious establishments, and get in line with his agenda requirements?

I have not felt safe in my hometown for the past few months. I have had three friends across the state attacked and savagely beaten because of being part of the LGBTQ community. I worry about the safety of friends and family who have been threatened recently for who they are and where they stand on issues.

However, this is precisely what Mayor Dial, and his followers want. Whether or not Dial believes he is responsible for those who come to his podium to spout hatefulness and misinformation at borough meetings. He is accountable for what he has said out of context and the misguided and dehumanization of individuals of the LGBTQAI+ community. He is also responsible for what happens to community members because of these hateful and divisive statements.

Over the years, I can count on one hand three childhood friends who identified as gay, who were beaten up so many times that their bodies and their brain never recovered, and they died.

I know of four or five others who will never, ever come back to Ketchikan for their class reunions due the hateful treatment, by community and family.

When I brought the Anti-discrimination ordinance to the table in June of 2020, we heard many community members who were against it say that we did not need it because everyone is treated with respect in our community.

Well, Dial, Harrington, and a small number of loud followers have proven this untrue.

The Attack on the Ketchikan Library proves it.

Removing the Drag Queen event at the library would have been a violation of the Ketchikan anti-discrimination ordinance and a civil rights violation. Last I checked Ketchikan is not under a dictatorship. Maintaining this event continues the consistency of our democracy because the structure provides you with the choice of whether you want to attend.

The Ketchikan Library is for everyone and has many events that not all community members agree with, and these programs are a choice. If people do not like an event, they do not have to participate in the library activities, just like people who choose not to participate in holiday events that the library hosts.

Dial and a few people would like to impose their religious beliefs and moral judgements upon the whole community. Being LGBTQAI+ is not a religion, it is not political, or a cult, as they would like you to believe.

They are just trying to live their lives and should not be subjected to rules by those who disapprove of their sexuality, identity or who they choose to love.

LGBTQAI+ community members have been here since my family came here in 1898. Unlike Mayor Dial, I was born and raised here. I can name a few business owners and family members who were part of the LGBTQA+ community over the course of the past 56 years.

Stop allowing Dial to gaslight our community, marginalize community members, and even worse allow his rhetoric to vilify and turn community members into monsters.

Dial keeps talking about Ketchikan turning into Seattle, but what he is not saying is how he is attempting to turn it into Matsu Valley and Wasilla two very intolerant communities who vilify and go after marginalized community members just as he is doing here.

If Dial honestly believes in having a safe, friendly community for everyone that requires the community to be inclusive and equally safe for all community members then why create an environment of divisiveness.

Vote no on Prop 2 and send Mr. Dial, and his tank back to Matsu or Wasilla by voting for Katie Jo Parrott.

I speak for myself, and not that of anyone else, especially not that of the Ketchikan City Council.

Sincerely, and sick and tired,

Janalee Frost, Hunt, Talbot, Church, Snartamo, Minnich, Gage
Ketchikan Alaska




Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Opinions expressed are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Sitnews.

Received September 21, 2022 - Published September 24, 2022

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