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Getting read.

Christopher Rice is absolutely right ["The Next Brokeback," May 9]: We gain power and self-affirmation every time we buy a gay or lesbian book. The decline of our bookstores has also resulted in a decline in the political education of our community.

Even in lesbian discussion groups, I can sense this dumbing-down process. I can tell women aren't reading anymore, and now all they talk about is dating and sleaze. Why is this? It is because we don't take authors seriously anymore.

People like John Morgan Wilson are pioneers they create wonderful gay, lesbian, and straight characters. There is nothing like the passionate antipatriarchal writing of Mary Daly to inspire you. Lesbian and gay books are often completely anti-assimilationist, and this visionary world is essential to true liberation.

AUDREY LOCKWOOD Los Angeles, Calif.

Urging literary fans to support gay literary associations and authors, Rice gets us only halfway toward some imagined Hollywood nirvana. True responsibility lies not just with consumer-driven support of struggling gay bookstores but also with the very publishing decision makers who claim to be so cutting-edge and open-minded. Using fatigued cultural assumptions of what is and isn't "marketable," many queer book buyers and editors remain the largest stumbling block to commercial success.

Undoubtedly the next Brokeback is already out there, penned by a gay author yet still sitting on some editor's desk. Probably about to be accompanied with a rejection letter. Certainly the awkward reality that Brokeback has become the sum total of our most commercial triumph lies not with gay readers but with many of the decision makers who still control what lands in production. If anyone is looking for what's broken in gay literature and media, the failure rests there.

TIMOTHY ANDERSON

Pend Oreille County, Wash.
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Title Annotation:FROM THE READERS
Author:Anderson, Timothy
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jun 6, 2006
Words:291
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