The Beginning of Envy?
Here! Here! Calling for "The End of Pride" [ June 21]. As a gay man, I feel our community has neglected the other deadly sins for far too long. Next year I want to see an Envy Parade—lots of green and people sneering at those on better floats. It's about time.
Bigger Than Gay
I have always thought of Roger Downey as the food and wine guy, but that excellent article on Pride changed that notion ["The End of Pride," June 21]. Thanks for making it bigger than gay.
Fighting Every Day
I am having a challenging time understanding Roger Downey's meaning with this article ["The End of Pride," June 21]. Is he saying we should do away with Pride because, according to him, it doesn't do any good? It's just an easy way for the gay community to prance around and look pretty without having to fight for anything?
I think that is bullshit. The gay community has come so far; hell, minorities everywhere have fought for every ounce of respect we have. We fight for our rights every day. Pride is a chance for people to publicly celebrate our beauty and culture. A chance to break out of the mold, so to speak.
Also, the only thing separating us from our goals and dreams is us. If we pull together and truly believe in ourselves, we can have everything we ask for. So to all the repressed and bitching people out there, change starts with you. When we truly own our power, we will be unstoppable.
Sex Ed, Not Parades
Hallelujah: Damn right go back to marching instead of parading ["The End of Pride," June 21]. And I would add, when are we going to organize and educate gay and lesbian youth, so they can stand up in their "Christian" and even public schools and ask of abstinence-until-marriage sex education, "What would you suggest for me?"
Gays are overwhelmingly the highest-risk population for HIV, yet mandatory sex education in so many school districts ignores gays and lesbians to death: no training in safe sex, and counseling only abstinence or "abstinence is the only safe course until a monogamous marriage" (a demonstrably false statement)—at the same time, of course, opposing marriage for lesbians and gays. This is egregiously unethical and bad public health practice, yet public health does not stand up for gay youth, nor does it forthrightly call for allowing same-sex marriages or antidiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
And sadly, the gay community is not supportive of gay youth, either, who are hardly positioned—without some support—to stand up and quietly ask for better. When will information packets be handed out to gay youth to enable them to question this deathly practice in the schools?
Humping a Brick Wall
Since when did sexual orientation become the "central definer of [our] identity" ["The End of Pride," June 21]? As a young man fresh out of high school and not so fresh out of the closet, I beg to differ. Don't get me wrong, Roger Downey has a few good points. Pride parades don't seem like much other than an excuse to get inebriated and find a new hookup. Yearly stabs at what's left of the gay male population's masculinity seem demeaning to me, personally.
Downey calls for "calling bullshit" on hate speech's "sanctified perpetrators," but isn't that what we've been doing? Have we not been complaining about what other people think about us for a bit too long? Or am I the only homosexual in Seattle who thinks griping about the current situation is like trying to hump a brick wall? If all we can do as a "community" is bitch and moan about how mean the Christians are to us, we're simply going to get sucked backward in time. Maybe if the "community" had enough self-respect to close down the bath houses, stop the flood of STDs, and maintain monogamous relationships, those who aren't so understanding in the straight/closeted world might actually treat us like human beings.
Genes, Not Preference
While many of Roger Downey's observations in his "The End of Pride" article [June 21] were compassionate and insightful, I was jarred by his use of the term "sexual preference" to describe homosexuality. In my practice of medicine, I have the good fortune of working with many gay patients, giving me the opportunity to stay current on data and research about sexuality. The best science available points increasingly to the role of genetics and biology in the determination of sexual orientation. It's antigay activists who insist on using the term "preference," because what is a choice can also be unchosen. The evidence suggests that the myth of sexual preference is a fallacy. Use of the more accurate term "orientation" debunks the nonscientific belief that sexuality is just another choice, on par with selecting a color for a new automobile.
No 'Gay' Commandment
God save us from religion ["Gay Evangelicals," June 21]. As to the Bible-quoted jingoism of conservative and fundamentalist homophobes, the Bible's actual statements on homosexuality are noteworthy only because they are so few. In fact, the Old Testament book Leviticus by itself has twice as many laws and pronouncements about menstruation as the Old and New Testaments combined have about homosexuality. But do menstruating girls and women in even the most hidebound congregations follow those very specific biblical laws? Do any ministers thunder at the lack of holy writ on Kotex boxes? No? Then what is the rationale for all the impassioned splutterings over the Bible's very brief, "small potatoes" notations on homosexuality?
Surely the most irritating burr in homophobic Christian backsides is that Jesus said absolutely nothing about homosexuality. And, straight from the horse's mouth, nowhere in the Ten Commandments does even God say anything about homosexuality! So which God and which Jesus in which Bible are homophobic Christians honking and clucking about?
I'm a heterosexual, married Christian who served in United Church of Christ, Methodist, and Lutheran churches for over 50 years. But I've yet to read or hear lore or data from any source to convince me that heterosexuality is or ever was "God's chosen sexual orientation"; or that, likewise, being Caucasian makes me part of "God's chosen race"; or that being a male means I'm of "God's chosen gender" . . . neurotically driven scriptural interpretations and sociopathic practices over the centuries to the contrary.
Shelter the Storm
Thanks for the published opinion on the importance of the Storm in the KeyArena debate and for calling out the lack of coverage on their side of the fence in this issue ["A Gender Gap at the Key," June 21].
I am a season-ticket holder to the Storm and Sonics and a fan of both leagues. I have things that I love about each and things that I love about both. I would be sad to see either team leave Seattle, but particularly the Storm, since I feel a closer bond with the team and its fans than I do with the more distant Sonics. The fans and the players are more "real" to me, and while I think of myself as a spectator at a Sonics game, I am part of the game at Storm games. It is refreshing to hear someone point out in writing what is so obvious to me and I am sure to many other Storm fans.
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