Re: “Hate groups are on the march in Maine” (July 23, Page A1):

I am a 64-year-old woman who has experienced a lifetime of misogyny and the stigma of being a sexual abuse survivor. I have dealt with the prejudices of those who held poverty, a lack of higher education and single parenthood in contempt. More recently, ageism is rearing its dreary head.

It has made for the strange experience of being seen, and yet being rendered invisible. My voice and the gifts I bear have mattered too little to too many. And this was a loss to myself and others.

What my 64 years have taught me is that those who are the most vulnerable and have the most to lose are the voices we need to be listening to.

I am not gay, I am not transgender, I am not Black, I am not a refugee, I am not disabled. I may not always understand their experience, and I most certainly have unexamined prejudices I have to confront. And that is exactly why their voices are the most important voices of all.

Zoe Gaston
South Portland

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