Why I am not a Republican
Justin Nichols, the Republican running for political office in Plano, asserts that he cannot understand why so many gay and lesbian voters identify as Democrats ("A gay pioneer in Plano," Dallas Voice, March 14). After all, "conservatives" — by which he presumably means Republicans — believe in limited government that stays out of your wallet and out of your life.

But therein lies the rub — or rubs the lie.

No sentient American believes that the party of Mike Huckabee, John McCain and especially George W. Bush intends to let any but the richest of us off the hook.

According to them, we must be Christians, warriors and torturers. Since they monitor our financial transactions, we must pay their $3 trillion-plus war debt. And since they also monitor our phone calls and e-mails, we must not complain lest we be deemed traitors and buried alive in Leavenworth or Guantanamo.

Phyllis Guest

Get the acronym right
Thank you for John Wright’s fine article regarding an openly gay candidate for the city council of Plano ("A gay pioneer in Plano," Dallas Voice, March 14). However, I take issue with your insistence throughout the article on referring to the gay community by the acronym LGBT. In my view, the correct acronym should be GLBT (as mentioned by others in your article and by names such as Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.)

If the reference LGBT is an effort to honor the least-recognized group by placing them first, the reference should be TBLG, or perhaps BTLG. On the other hand, if it is simply a matter of lesbians feeling that they should be recognized first, it is pigheaded and wrong.

After all, it was gay men (mostly) who began to bring our civil rights movement to the public’s attention, with the Stonewall Riots. The Mattachine Society predates The Daughters of Bilitis, and the entire group of non-straight people are often referred to as "gay."

It would seem that the proper reference should indeed be GLBT, and while I have no problem with "sharing the spotlight" with lesbians (or for that matter, with bisexuals or transgenders), I suggest that your use of the acronym LGBT should be modified.

J.L. Cleland
Hoyt, Kansas

Editor’s note: Dallas Voice uses the acronym LGBT because, in our experience, it is the one most commonly used by those we interview and in press releases we receive. When quoting someone, whether from a verbal interview or a written statement, we use the acronym that person used. We view either "LGBT" or "GLBT" as equally acceptable.

On Being Homosexual
It constantly amazes me how those who are not homosexual want to make being homosexual only about sex.

I ask you, is being a man or a woman only about sex? Is being heterosexual only about sex?

Of course not.

Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern’s son Jesse is a prime example when he states he is celibate and therefore not gay — as if not having sex, performing the act of homosexual sex, with another man is keeping him from being gay, or saying that if he had sex with a man once or twice he is gay.

All that is just so unbelievably wrong and untrue.

I am a man, a gay man, who has sex with men, and I know I am gay. I am attracted only to men. I tried for years to live a heterosexual life and it did not work because I was gay and was attracted to men.

It was not because I had sex with just men, because I did not. If I were to have practiced celibacy, I would have still been gay. I would have been miserable and celibate, but still gay.

The mere fact that Sen. Larry Craig stopped visiting airport restrooms or that Jesse Kern is celibate does not make either of them not gay or gay. It makes them confused, and their statements confuse young men and women struggling with their own fragile sexuality.

When I was very young, I experimented with boys and girls and never knew something was wrong with either, until someone told me that having sex with boys was something not acceptable.

So what did my little mind do? It associated having sex with boys with something society said was wrong — homosexuality — and not with the experimentation that the behavior actually was at the age of 9 or 10.

The mental associations we learn to make in our developing years shape our thoughts, fears, judgments and prejudices, and can seriously skew our acceptance of who we are and others are.

Being gay is a journey of immense pain, beauty, joy and love, just like all of life. Even with all the stigma and hate associated with homosexuality, I would not change one thing about who I am and what I have become as a gay man.

Maybe Jesse Kern and Sen. Craig will be able to say that about themselves one day.

Don Dureau

Prepare to defend yourself
I think its time you recommend that people look into ways to defend themselves and their loved ones, whether that is taking a self defense class at the Y, carrying pepper spray or taking a hand gun class at the local police department.

This is a particularly bad time for Sally Kern and others to spout such nonsense as the things Kern said recently. With the economy they way it is, people will look for someone to blame. And Sally Kern has made the gay community an easy target.

I suggest we do something to make ourselves less of an easy target.

Scott Leonard
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Porn Interview showed lack of judgement
After reading Daniel Kusner’s interview with Tom Chase ("Furry and fine," Dallas Voice, March 14) on Chase’s appearance for the Texas Bear Round-Up, I was disappointed. There was definitely a lack of judgment shown here.

There was no need to print in detail what Tom would like to do to 18-year-old Daniel Radcliff over and over again. It was outside the scope of an otherwise lighthearted interview.

Printing words that glorify unsafe sex crosses a line.

Daniel Kusner writes that "Tom Chase is lending his superstar cred," but I guess his credibility doesn’t cover HIV/AIDS prevention. We give porn stars "superstar cred" by their appearances in our community, and by their coverage in the gay media.

In the same issue, an article featuring Steven Pace of the AIDS Interfaith Network talks about a "lack of safer sex knowledge, practices." By printing Chase’s quote, you chip away at the hard work and credibility of any person working towards HIV/AIDS prevention.

It may seem trivial, but its another example of the mixed messages today. I remember a time when preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS was paramount for us here in the LGBT community. Does the Dallas Voice and Colt Studios feel a little more relaxed about that now?

Erik Thoresen

Disappointed in anti-Log Cabin letters
I was disappointed to read the letters in the March 14 issue of Dallas Voice questioning the sincerity of the Log Cabin Republicans in attempting to work with and within the GOP regarding issues that matter to our community.

Individuals much smarter about politics than myself understand very well that we need the engagement of partisans on both sides of the political aisle in order to advance understanding of our quest for equality and to ultimately achieve that equality.

Regarding the Dallas Stonewall secretary’s invitation to join the Democrats, as Groucho Marx put it: "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."

Rob Rosenberg

Don’t support the hatemongerers
Not to beat a dead horse, but I had to reply to Rudy Oeftering’s letter about all the criticism of the Log Cabin Republicans ("Shocked!" Letters to the Editor, Dallas Voice, March 14).

I know he thought his note was funny, and I hope it highly amused him. But the truth is he doesn’t understand what the point of all the letters opposing the Log Cabin Republicans is really about.

It has nothing to do with being tolerant to a benign other point of view, like disagreeing on how to pronounce the word tomato. It is much more serious than that.

What the people opposing the Log Cabin Republicans, and the Republicans , are doing is to stand up for tolerance. The Republican Party wants to harm and hurt the gay community. Their intolerant hate speech isn’t just talk, it causes great harm to our society as a whole.

Their platform talks about taking away our civil rights and our pursuit of happiness as guaranteed by the Constitution. They want to make us illegal, and force us into the dark corners of our society. Their speech —like the recent rant by Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern who said gay people are a bigger threat to America than terrorists — is incredibly destructive. It empowers the ignorant and mean and cruel people to feel justified in causing harm to the gay community, by way of violence either verbal or physical.

This is simply not acceptable in a truly civilized society.

We are fighting for our rights and for our very lives against these very hateful, intolerant people. There can be no tolerance for the intolerant in a truly free society.

You have to make a choice to fight for what you believe in or you are enabling the hateful people in this country, who are literally getting away with murder. To quote Norm Chomsky, "You cannot stand still on a moving train." This means, in our world today, if you do not stand up for yourself and the human rights of all people, then you are, by being passive, allowing the hatemongers to succeed in their agenda.

If you do not stand with the good you fall with the evil.

So I am sorry Mr. Oeftering, but your letter was not funny, because LGBT people being harmed by unfair laws and violent hate crimes is not funny.

Roy Calhoun
Oak Cliff

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 March 21, 2008

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