Letters

Posted on 02 Oct 2006 at 5:14pm

Reviewer off base with comments

Wow! We are still in shock after reading Steve Warren’s review of “Citizen Lobbyist” and “Cruel and Unusual” (“Reel Pride,” Dallas Voice, Oct. 27).

Usually, a critique focuses on the making of the movie and the worth of the story. However, this reviewer chose to attack the subjects of the documentary and their worth.

Apparently, only pretty or attractive transgender females that can “pass” should have been subjects in the movie. It seems that this would have made the reviewer more comfortable with the message despite the ironic objectification of women.

His criticism of Linda Thompson as the “worst spokesperson” is a sad commentary on the gay community’s lack of understanding of transgender issues. Linda is actually a most appropriate spokesperson because she does represent many of the difficulties faced in making the transition in society and being accepted. Mr. Warren’s comments seem to only perpetuate these judgments.

Furthermore, Mr. Warren fails to understand that hormone treatments are medically necessary. According to World Professional Association For Transgender Health (WPATH), prisoners who are subjected to rapid withdrawal of cross-sex hormones are particularly at risk for psychiatric symptoms and self-injurious behaviors including emotional breakdown, undesired regression of hormonally-induced physical effects and a sense of desperation leading to depression, anxiety, and suicidality.

If the reviewer thinks these are low priorities in prison reform, then should we also disallow blood pressure medication, diabetes medications and HIV medications to prisoners?

Mr. Warren’s attempts to be humorous, for example by saying that some of the film’s subjects have “got balls, though not literally in some cases,” are not funny but illustrate how far our own community has to go before we honor one another as human beings entitled to be who we truly are without judgment.

Lisa Scheps, board member, and Paul E. Scott, executive director

Equality Texas

Johnson deserves the praise

Thank you for your Oct. 27 article about the Human Rights Campaign’s scorecard scores received by our Texas Congressional delegation (“Few Texas lawmakers score well on gay issues). I was especially proud to see that you highlighted the 100 percent score received by Dallas’ own congresswoman, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.

The congresswoman is also an original co-sponsor of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which would permit federal law enforcement authorities in specific circumstances to investigate and prosecute violent crimes motivated by the race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability of the victim.

Congresswoman Johnson’s commitment to human rights doesn’t end there. She has been an outspoken voice in Washington calling for an end to the horrific genocide in Darfur. Congress-woman Johnson has led the way in Congress to protect the lives and rights of women and children during war, conflict and their aftermath. She has held national and international peace discussion forums to promote the productive exchange of ideas and experiences among women of all ethnic and national communities.

Congresswoman Johnson’s record on civil and human rights is stellar and one that I wish more elected officials would emulate and more publications would celebrate.

Michael Thomas

Dallas

The “‘sanctity’ of marriage

Reacting to a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples must be accorded the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual married couples, President Bush said the “sacred institution” of marriage between a man and a woman must be “defended.”

Let’s think about that: Presumably heterosexuals marry for love and children the best of reasons. But they also marry for far less noble reasons for money, citizenship, inheritance or as the consequence of a drunken indiscretion.

A young model, Anna Nicole Smith, married a 96-year-old billionaire and proclaimed with a straight face that she did it for love. Michael Jackson married twice in an obvious attempt at image control after a scandal involving a young boy. Britney Spears got married in Las Vegas on a whim and had it annulled within days. Richard Ramirez, the serial killer known as “The Night Stalker,” married a woman while in prison on Death Row for committing 13 murders.

Think of it. Even a mass murderer can get married, but a gay person who never got so much as a parking ticket can’t marry the person he or she loves. Gay people who have been in a loving, faithful, monogamous relationship with one partner for 25 years are not allowed to marry because some say it would “damage the institution of marriage.”

Same-sex couples are subjected to discrimination. They are denied sick leave to care for their partners. From tax benefits and pensions to family health coverage and hospital visitation rights, same-sex couples are second class in the eyes of the law and society. We are all human beings and all deserving of the same rights.

Alan L. Light

Iowa City, Ia

Don’t support ExxonMobil

I feel like I’m beating a dead horse with this issue, but driving around in Oak Lawn, it has become obvious to me that our community still is not getting the message. ExxonMobil recently released its earnings report for the second quarter. The company made a profit of $10.49 billion.

This company consistently scores a zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, yet has the audacity to locate three stores in the 75219 zip code the Oak Lawn area. What bothers me even more is that in a time where our community seems so united politically, driving around with our “Vote Democrat” stickers, rainbow stickers and Equality stickers, I see those same vehicles fueling up at the Exxon on Lemmon Avenue!

We need to stop supporting ExxonMobil completely. They have shown complete disregard for the civil rights of our community by denying protections to LGBT employees and rescinding benefits, but are all too happy to take our money.

Chevron and British Petroleum scored a 100 this year on HRC’s index, and Shell scored an 84. Let’s take the time to show these companies that their efforts matter, even if it means driving a little out of our way.

Mike Walker

Dallas

Thanks for supporting Chris

I just wanted to write in and thank you for giving Chris McKee’s story the space that it deserves (“Victim faults Denton County DA”).

I was at the rally to support Chris. I consider the man family and I love him as if we were blood kin. He has helped lots of people in his work with Denton County MHMR, and I was outraged that a man who helps even in situations outside his job was treated this way by the people who get paid to take the victim’s side and use George Clifton Young’s arrest record for assault against him, instead of ignoring it just because Chris is gay. It gives me the impression that the D.A. Bruce Issacs is lazy and somewhere in the back of his subconscious is a bigot just like Young is. What does that say about the people that we have to make sure that real justice is handed out to the guilty?

The Constitution of the United States doesn’t guantee justice for everybody unless they are gay. Our forefathers said “for all.”

I have one question: Where is Chris’ justice? If nothing else, those of us that are the closest to him will make sure that he does get it legally, period!

Jo Walker

Denton

Questionable endorsements

The Heritage Alliance PAC is a radical group that just published their endorsement of Dallas County and state candidates. Their endorsement list gives a failing (F) grade to all candidates endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats. The endorsement slate even contains a statement to that fact. Do you think the group will now go back and give the same F to those Republicans endorsed by the Log Cabin?

To see the full slate of their endorsements, go to http://www.heritagealliancepac.com/docs/ HAPACDallasVoterGuide.pdf

Jim Foster

Dallas County judge candidate

Dallas

Questioning Log Cabin’s endorsements

Imagine my surprise when I read that one of the congressmen implicated in the Mark Foley page scandal cover-up was speaking at the annual Log Cabin dinner (“Log Cabin to honor “‘good friend,’” Dallas Voice, Oct. 20). Imagine my amazement because that same congressman, Rep. Jim Kolbe of Arizona, is also under investigation by the FBI for inappropriate behavior with underage pages during a camping trip. Imagine my absolute and unqualified astonishment when I read that Kolbe, who was forced out of the closet by the Advocate because of his anti-gay voting record, was praised by the Log Cabin Republican national executive vice president for “never waver[ing] in making a conservative case that all Americans should be treated equally regardless of sexual orientation.”

The fact that Dallas Log Cabin Republicans members are celebrating Rep. Kolbe speaks volumes about their judgment and their priorities. Who’s next? Mark Foley?

George Henson

Dallas

To Send a Letter

We welcome letters from readers. Shorter letters are more likely to be printed, as are those that address only a single topic. On some weeks we receive more letters than we can print. In that case, we print a representative sample. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity, but we attempt to maintain the writer’s substance and tone. Include your home address and a daytime phone number for verification. Send letters to the senior editor, preferably by e-mail (editor@dallasvoice.com). Letters also may be faxed (214-969-7271) or mailed (Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis St., Third Floor, Dallas, TX 72504).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, November 3, 2006.

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