Letters

Posted on 26 Jan 2006 at 3:35pm

Article unfair to Heche

I wanted to respond after reading the article by Daniel Kushner regarding Nancy Heche’s memoir (“Maybe Anne Heche wasn’t so crazy after all,” Dallas Voice, Oct. 13).

I did contact him to forward information on Nancy Heche’s book as she was traveling to Dallas for some media interviews.

Mr. Kushner’s interpretation of being “jerked around” is humorous to me as he was never promised an interview, and after the first conversation I found him to be short on patience and long on accusations. I could have ignored his phone calls, emails and request for the book, but I did not.

I had a suspicion that Mr. Kushner would not write a favorable article because of his over-aggressive and pushy attitude toward me.

He may not realize that, as a publicity firm, we have several clients and are in contact with countless media outlets and in most cases, other firms would have ignored him after his attitude and tone became negative.

I understand journalism (I worked for several years as a journalist) and I understand his desire for attention, and not necessarily gaining respect, through his column. I am surprised that a “legitimate journalist” would have the negative feelings toward an individual that he does not know or has not met as he does toward Nancy Heche.

That only makes me question if Mr. Kushner embodies the prejudicial attitude that many in the gay community believe the Christian community demonstrates.

It is apparent that Mr. Kushner did not understand the message of Nancy’s memoir how she survived many trials in her life (including the death of three of her children which he failed to include) and her own heart’s transformation toward the homosexual community.

She also boldly shares the many mistakes and the pain she dealt with from choices she made and how they impacted her family.

Her message is not judgmental or preachy, but one of love and understanding.

I believe Mr. Kushner’s personal bias tainted his view of her message and is apparent in his article which is a disservice to your readers.

Mr. Kushner wrote: “An interview with Dallas Voice was never scheduled I suspect because in the past few weeks, gay media outlets across the country had already been tipped off about the “hate the sin” tone of the book, which has been rightfully slammed.”

He knows the reason I did not schedule an interview, and his suspicions are inaccurate.

I answered his question regarding Nancy and Anne’s communication. He apparently has trouble retaining answers that have been provided to him.

Rather than focusing on a “she said she said” article between Anne and Nancy’s individual books and the fact he has not personally interviewed either one of them and has no idea what has changed since the release of Anne’s book, he might have been better suited to limit his judgments and better understand the true message of the book

Ben Laurro

Pure Publicity

Editor’s response: Life+Style Editor Daniel Kusner whose name is correctly spelled “Kusner” and not “Kushner” stands by his original report and his assertion that Nancy Heche still promotes the ex-gay movement and is now trying to infiltrate gay media outlets with anti-gay bigotry disguised as love and acceptance. To support his assertion, Kusner notes that over the course of six weeks, Ben Laurro sent him a hand-written note and at least nine e-mails and spoke with him three times on the phone in an effort to schedule an interview with Nancy Heche during her Oct. 2-3 visit to North Texas. During this exchange, Laurro requested Kusner send him a list of questions he had in mind for the interview. Kusner told Laurro he only had one: Why doesn’t Nancy address the primary point of Anne Heche’s memoir “Call Me Crazy” that Anne was incestuously abused by her closeted father, Don Heche, and that Nancy never apologized for, dealt with or acknowledged her daughter’s anguish. Laurro said he couldn’t subject Nancy a college-level instructor and a practicing psychotherapist, who apparently has a doctorate in theology to such a question, that Nancy has been through too much already. And as for Nancy’s message of “love and understanding” for the gay community, here’s a quote from Nancy’s book: “Don’s father [Anne's grandfather] was a bum. He was unshaven and reeked of beer and cigarettes the classic profile of the father of a homosexual man, as I learned much later.”

Why was Libertarian left out

Why does your online poll (Speak Out Poll, Dallas Voice and www.DallasVoice.com, Oct. 20,) exclude one of the candidates for governor, but includes all the rest? Why the discrimination?

In case you aren’t aware, the other candidate that is on the ballot is Libertarian James Werner.

Mike Nelson

Allen

Time for gays to head for “‘Pink States’

It is time for gay Americans to consider moving to “Pink States” that have passed state-wide non-discrimination laws covering sexual orientation.
Gays and lesbians must vote with their feet and that means moving out of states that have not provided gays and lesbians with the basic protections that have been provided to other groups who have been discriminated against in the past.

There are only 17 “Pink States” in the nation, more than half of which are in the northeast. The Northeast “pocket of protection” includes Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. The Midwest “pocket of protection” includes Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the Western pocket includes California, Nevada, Washington, New Mexico and Hawaii.

The recent trend to refer to states as either “Red” or “Blue” is not relevant to gay and lesbian Americans who face discrimination simply because of whom they choose to love. As long as protections are being offered to groups who have been discriminated against in the past, I believe gay and lesbian Americans should definitely be included on that list, and if a state refuses to add sexual orientation to the list of those protected, gays should consider moving to the relative safety provided by a “Pink State.”

Libertarians do not believe the government should be involved in discrimination of any kind against its citizens, and the time for ending discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans is long past due.

Dr. Tom Stevens, executive director

Stonewall Libertarians

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, October 27, 2006.

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