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Justin, hot and cool. (reader forum).

Your interview with Justin Timberlake in The Advocate's Coolest Straight People of 2002 [December 24] was a breath of fresh air. As a gay male psychotherapist who counsels gay and lesbian clients, I know firsthand how hateful words and homophobic exclusion can hurt people who are different. They share their pain with me every day in my office. In the entertainment world, where many sell their souls to the god of controversy in order to get noticed--not caring which groups of people they trample over and maim in the process--it's nice to know that there are intelligent, sensitive young artists like Justin who prove that you can be cool, talented, a little edgy, and compassionate. Let's hear it for artists who have hung on to their hearts!

Craig Campbell, Columbus, Ohio

I have never really been an 'N Sync or Justin Timberlake fan until I read your interview with him. Not only is he a very handsome young man, but from the interview I also learned that he is very intelligent, articulate, open-minded, and has a great sense of humor. In fact, I was so impressed with Mr. Timberlake that I went out and purchased 20 copies of his recently released CD, Justified, and will be sending them out as stocking stuffers this Christmas--just my way of saying thank you for showing the younger generation that it is OK to be yourself, gay or straight.

Jeff Mauk, Phoenix, Ariz.

I have finally reached the breaking point with The Advocate. Your current issue with Justin Timberlake is the final example of the depths you will go to to sell out the gay community. Timberlake has made numerous questionable comments about homosexuality and homosexuals, even saying recently that he didn't know he had a gay following. But as his album fails to achieve projected sales levels, he turns to The Advocate to get him some positive face so maybe we in the gay community will buy his mediocre album. It seems now all a celebrity needs to do is answer some questions with the response "I love all my fans," and that is good enough for you.

Joel Winer, New York, N.Y.

I did not expect to be blown away by the Justin Timberlake interview. Smart, funny, and talented on top of his remarkable good looks, he was a truly deserving man for the cover. In a pop world with its share of negative views of gays and lesbians, it was refreshing to read of this artist's open mind and positive attitude. Bravo!

Craig Olson, Des Moines, Iowa

It is comforting that Justin appears to have a mature attitude toward gays and that he appears to accept us without reservation. However, I have noticed a contradiction between word and action. Before his solo album came out, Jive Records gave him his own Web site to help promote the album. Whenever he was going to be on the cover of a magazine, the cover was posted so it couldn't be missed by Justin fanatics at the newsstands. The current magazine cover showing on his site is the Details magazine cover. Since Justin is just recently on the cover of The Advocate, why isn't that cover on his Web site? I mean, if he's so accepting of his gay fans, wouldn't you think he would put your cover on his site?

I certainly don't believe that he is a hatemonger toward gays or even someone who has ill will toward us. But I don't believe that he is so willing to embrace us, as it were. Actions speak louder than words, and inaction speaks volumes.

Eric Buhser, via the Internet
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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Feb 4, 2003
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