PRIDE, MY ASS
What a stupid cover idea for your Gay Pride issue [June 21]. If that isn't every gay man's masturbation fantasy, a little boy in a pink tutu. Am I to believe this little boy is gay? How can we know for sure, since sexual preference tends to manifest with the onset of puberty. Gay Pride, give me a break. It's as stupid as if we suddenly declared a Heterosexual Pride day. Why is it necessarily a matter of pride? It's not as if people get to pick to be gay or heterosexual. As a heterosexual I'm not more proud to lust [after] women instead of men, yet gay people feel the need to flash it in my face as if they are superior. Do superior people parade down the street fully or partially naked? Pride, my ass; you're gay, fine, but you're not better than the rest. Get over yourselves.
SHOW SOME RESPECT
Robin Laananen's photograph that was chosen to grace the cover of the June 21 issue was inappropriate and slightly offensive when coupled with the issue's title, "Gay Pride." I don't find the picture itself offensive; I remember dressing up my little brother when he was too young to recognize clothing stereotypes. To me, the photo represents a person not yet defiled by society's ideas of gender-specific clothing. I think that the Weekly was a little off the mark in using this image to represent pride in homosexuality.
Children are not sexual beings until they reach puberty. The cover appears to portray a gay or transgendered toddler. Is it healthy for a toddler to be having sex with anyone of any gender? This portrayal is as ridiculous as Jerry Falwell's condemnation of Tinky Winky of the Teletubbies for influencing babies to venture to the "other side." A picture of an adolescent or adult male in a pink tutu and white tennies would depict someone who willingly overrides gender stereotypes. A picture of a two-year-old playing in a poofy tulle garment, however, is a picture of a child with no knowledge of the implied stereotypes that gays, lesbians, and transgendered persons must work to overthrow. Any possible intended statement about gender stereotypes is muddled and lost in this misrepresentation of the very nature of human sexuality. Show a little respect for childhood as well as for the gay, lesbian, and transgendered community, that's all I ask.
"I'M NOT HOMOPHOBIC"
I'll preface my comments by noting that I am a heterosexual male and not homophobic but, I neither condone nor have a desire to understand the homosexual lifestyle. That said, I was completely disgusted by the picture on your cover that appears to be a young boy in a pink tutu [June 21]. Regardless of whether or not it is a boy, the mere fact that a child was exploited in that light is flat wrong. While I'm sure that your publication will continue to publish articles about homosexual happenings, I hope that in the future you will refrain from using children as an avenue of delivering your message. If homosexuals choose to subscribe to that lifestyle, it is a choice that they make, but for God's sake leave children out of the message.
IT'S FUN TO STAY AT THE...
In last week's article about Camp Ten Trees ["Camp 'My Mom's a Dyke,'" June 21], one of the founders was quoted as saying they did not feel welcomed by some organizations, and the YMCA was cited as an example by the reporter. I immediately contacted the individual quoted, who assured us that this comment did not pertain to the YMCA of Greater Seattle. We feel it is important to state firmly that everyone is welcome in the YMCAs in our Association, which includes 15 branches in King and south Snohomish counties, as well as Camp Orkila and Camp Colman. We strive to eliminate discrimination in any form, and our core values of respect and caring are inherent in how people are expected to treat each other in every YMCA program or facility. In greater Seattle, YMCA membership and employment practices reflect the fact that when we say "we build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities," we mean all families.
Assistant VP, Communications
YMCA of Greater Seattle
THE MIGHTY EAGLE
Thank you for printing some accolades about the mighty Eagle ["Liza Has Left the Building," June 21]. Since I've been back in Austin, Texas, the main thing I pine for, above all else in your port town bursting with pulchritude, IS the Eagle. Is there anywhere else on earth like it? Y'all are cradling a jewel. It's, of course, not for everyone. But man—it was FOR ME. I remember when I first walked by and heard X or Hsker D or some really rockin' shit coming out of—I couldn't even really tell where—I knew had to go in there someday. And Christ! was I glad I did. Boss props go out to my main man manning the rekkid player, Tom Smith. Even now, when I hear Stranglehold on the radio, I am instantly transported back to the smokey, loud netherworld that would fuck The Nuge up! Shuggie Otis, King Crimson, Bran Van 3000, Afghan Whigs doing TLC's "Creep," and, of course, tried-and-true rockers like ZZ Top, Queen, and UFO. I mean really, it's the best record party you could hope to have. So thanks again. I hope to Christ that place never gets shut down. LONG LIVE THE EAGLE!
A BETTER WORLD
I am the dad of the kids in the article ["Big Daddy," June 14] and want to compliment Michael A. Stusser on doing such a great job with my kids. He has been an outstanding friend to my ex-wife and kids, and gave a comical rendition of the sometimes crazy and always entertaining life that we live with this crew.
The article mentioned that I revealed my homosexuality to my ex-wife at a Mariners game. That was not true. I told her after the game in the privacy of our own home in a very painful and forever life-altering conversation. For some of us, performance and fitting into culture takes on a life of its own, when the very core of you goes against the grain. I was faithful to my wife during the course of our marriage and leaving was the last thing that I anticipated. However, somewhere between integrity and commitments there is a gray line of what is right, and that narrow path was what I attempted to walk.
Julie is the most incredible person that I know. She loves our kids and sacrificially watches them. I love her more now than ever, albeit from afar. In many ways, I have become a better person. I used to live for pleasing Julie, even through service to the kids. This makes for a very unbalanced and controlled relationship. Now, I am free to love her and the kids because of who they are, and not to hide from who I am.
I never chose to be gay. I chose to try for years to be different, to fit in, to be normal. It took a long time and a strange path to come to the conclusion that I am normal and that I do not have to condemn or destroy myself because of who I am able to connect with relationally. I can embrace my own desires and rejoice in my own uniqueness. I wish I could have done this in the context of staying with Julie and the kids. I hurt every day being separated from them. However, sometimes in life there are hard choices that have to be made.
Your quick line of my "Jerry Springer" family does not even come close to painting the picture of our reality. Julie and I are two loving parents who are trying as best as we can to raise five great kids to love people and feel good about who they are. Julie and I are also two people trying to grow up in a culture that can be very intolerant and closed-minded to diversity. We are better people because of being a "Jerry Springer" family, and the world of our kids will be better because of that.
Anti-Intelligent Design! Boys in tutus! Geez! Write to Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104; fax to 206-467-4377; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include name, location, and phone number. Letters may be edited.