Bailey has been a great leader
Oh my God, Shannon Bailey had sex! He didn’t abuse his authority like former Precinct 5 Dallas County Constable Mike Dupree, nor was he a hypocrite (and dangerous) like U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho. He just had sex. His “sin” was in choosing the wrong place to do it.
No one is saying that it is OK to have sex in the park. But I have to ask, how many of you have never done the nasty in a car or in a tent? The truth be known, most all of us have “warts,” including many of our leaders. And it is common knowledge that if Shannon had been with a woman that the cop would have winked and told them to go home.
There is a small group of very angry people that are hell bent on running Shannon out of Texas Stonewall Democrats. I strongly question their motives.
Shannon is one of the most skillful and effective leaders this community has ever had. He has raised untold thousands of dollars and facilitated relationships with candidates and elected officials to help further our civil rights. He is tireless in those efforts. I think that is a pretty good description of a good leader.
And he is a great friend one of those that you could call day or night and he would be there.
That said, I have, at times, wanted to strangle him with my bare hands! But kick him to the curb for this mistake? Never.
So, before you post that next blog or fire off a letter to the editor condemning Shannon, stop and think about your motives and then climb off your moral high horse.
Stonewall backs transgender rights
We want to clarify a statement in Linda Ocasio’s letter in the Aug. 31 issue (“Leadership lacking in Bailey debate”) that stated that the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus’ leadership equates sexual reassignment surgery with criminal behavior. The TSDC executive board does not believe this and, to the contrary, is a strong supporter of our transgender brothers and sisters.
The statement to which Ms. Ocasio referred was made by one individual on the board who apologized after being criticized by fellow board members. Statements of this nature are not tolerated.
Stonewall Democrats proudly boasts four transgender directors on its national board and is leading the way to change language across the nation to be inclusive, from our state party platforms to legislation introduced by Democrats that pertain to LGBT issues (adding gender identity and gender expression).
Statewide, dozens of Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus members enlisted on March 5 to lobby in Austin for the protection in employment and housing for transgender Texans, engaging both Democratic and Republican state representatives and senators throughout the day.
Locally, one of the first programs Stonewall Democrats of Dallas undertook in 2007 was to work with newly-elected Democratic judges in Dallas County to hold a forum to address issues in the transgender community, regarding gender and name change on official documents.
Stonewall Democrats hopes this letters clarifies our commitment to the transgender community and equality for all.
Lisa Thomas, vice president
Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus
Jesse Garcia, president
Stonewall Democrats of Dallas
Craig’s actions foolish but not criminal
I would rather have my gay card taken away than defend a virulently homophobic Republican. However, after reading the latest Viewpoint by Chris Crain in the Aug. 31 issue of Dallas Voice (“Don’t play into the politics of self-destruction”), I have to say that I’m not convinced that U.S. Sen. Larry Craig did anything criminal.
Did he have a lapse in judgment? Probably. Did he do something stupid? Probably. But he did commit a crime? No. Was it lewd conduct? Doubtful.
We will never know the real truth.
I am among the first to always doubt the word of those in power. I am one who believes that you should challenge the police and those in “power” to prove their point.
But consider this: How many of us can remember when just being thought of as “gay” was enough to get us fired from our jobs or arrested for a myriad of crimes? How many can remember that we had to meet in secret, with secret locations and codes to keep from being arrested, without provocation other than suspicion (guilt by association). Which signal was the vice offer referring to red, yellow or green?
Those who aren’t guilty don’t plead guilty (Craig’s lapse in judgement). My question is, if Mr. Craig can’t understand this, then does he really understand what he is doing in Congress? Probably not.
Am I sad to see him go? Absolutely not. Am I among those leading the cheers down Cedar Springs and all the way to the mud? Absolutely not.
Craig coverage hurting LGBT movement
While the media obsesses with the question of whether U.S. Sen. Larry Craig is gay, what they are doing is reinforcing gay stereotypes that hurt all of us.
The media could turn this tragedy into an opportunity by focusing on the issue of how living gay life in a closet is difficult and harmful. They could attempt to link the pressures of living a closeted gay life with Larry Craig’s bad behavior and poor voting record on GLBT issues. They could shine a light on the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and how it applies the same pressures to gay Americans serving in our military.
Instead, they keep asking, “Is the senator gay?”
Will this somehow explain his lewd behavior? Doesn’t this constant media question only serve to automatically link lewdness with our sexual orientation?
I think that it does, and it hurts all of us.
While many of our GLBT friends are probably celebrating another Republican scandal, may I remind everyone that if we are to advance gay equality, it will be faster accomplished in a bipartisan way.
We should be upset at the media, which pretends to be the friend of GLBT rights, and ask them why they keep reinforcing gay stereotypes. We also have to be mindful that this kind of publicity probably discourages those legislators who quietly support us.
Rob Schlein, president
Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas
Carlson had right to defend himself
I guess with U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s public bathroom adventures serving as editorial fodder, any and everyone with a similar encounter is willing to talk.
But the vitriol aimed at Tucker Carlson by gay rights groups after revealing his own fiasco is unfounded (“Carlson in hot water over tale about public toilet encounter,” Dallas Voice, Aug. 31).
Anybody who accosts someone in a public restroom needs to get smacked hard. Putting your hands on a stranger in those settings doesn’t fall under the guise of civil rights. I wouldn’t blame Carlson for having reacted the way he claims he did.
I had the same misfortune befall me several years ago in the men’s room of a local gay bar when some creep decided he couldn’t keep his grimy hands off my jean-clad butt as I stood at a urinal. My fist was the next thing he saw. He had the audacity to look appalled.
If a female journalist recounted a story of striking a man who molested her in a women’s public restroom, no one would declare her misandric. Why should gay men who troll public restrooms be immune?
I wish gay rights groups would stop defending men who engage in such disgusting activity. Violence is not acceptable, but people have the right to defend themselves against purveyors of lecherous behavior.
Alejandro De La Garza
Gays should support gun rights
On my 11th birthday, I received a bolt-action, single-shot, .22-caliber rifle. After my birthday lunch, my father took me out for a gun safety lesson and some target shooting. It was a great afternoon I’ve never forgotten.
One of the things we talked about was the importance of our Second Amendment rights. Dad explained that as a citizen of this county, it was not only our right to bear arms, but our duty.
He went on to explain that it guaranteed our ability to defend our freedom, and that’s not only from outside our country, but from within.
I wasn’t sure what he meant by “from within” and questioned him on it. He used pre-World War II Germany as an example:
They were a Democracy with a constitution. When their economy began to fail, they elected Hitler and his Nazi Party to power. Shortly after that, their constitution came under attack by Hitler and his government. Little by little the people began to lose their rights and freedom.
One of the first to go was their right to bear arms. Ultimately that loss of being able to defend themselves would lead to over 7 million men, women and children, around a half million of them gay, being murdered by Hitler and his freely elected government.
Like any sane person, I abhor violence, but the gay community embracing the Brady Campaign isn’t the answer because, folks, that’s what Brady is about, us losing our Second Amendment rights and our ability to defend ourselves and our government.
If you don’t think history repeats itself, let me suggest you look across Turtle Creek Boulevard during the Lee Park rally after the Pride parade.
Those hate-filled people standing there in the name of God, with their sick signs stating “Kill the fags,” are the same kind of people the Germans elected in the 1930s.
Frank M. Stich
Same-sex harassment no laughing matter
I’m writing in response to Dallas Voice’s Aug. 31 “Query of The Week: Have you ever been sexually harassed by a member of the same sex at work?”
Four men and one woman responded to the question. After reading the article, I have to wonder if they misunderstood it, or if the seriousness of same-sex sexual harassment was not clearly explained to them before they responded. Four said that they had not been harassed. The other said, “on occasion.” Further comments were: ” take it as a compliment,” “people need tso lighten up,” “never been sexually harassed, damn it” and “I would be flattered.” The individual who had experienced harassment stated, “if they’re cute, I don’t mind.”
Same-sex sexual harassment in the workplace violates Title VII of The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is a crime. Sexual harassment by anyone is unwelcome and nonconsensual verbal content or physical sexual behavior that disrupts the workplace or leads to an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
Same-sex sexual harassment in the workplace may include: unwelcome sexual advances, often repeated; requests for sexual favors; use of feminine pronouns for a male victim; sexual taunts; simulated sex acts; sexually aggressive behavior; sexually provocative and/or demeaning jokes or “humor;” and threatening a closeted individual with “outing” to family or friends.
I hope that the Voice will publish some in-depth articles on the issue of same-sex sexual harassment in the workplace to help educate our community and draw attention to this problem. Anyone who feels they might be a victim of sexual harassment of any form may contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 214-253-2750.
Dennis C. Hartzog, LPC,
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 (email@example.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 September 7, 2007