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Person of the Year. (reader forum).

I read "This Is Mark Bingham" [January 22] on the train after having spent Christmas with my family, and I must say it was truly wonderful and touching. The article showed the depth Mark had and the kind of person he was. Reading how he was such an outgoing person, it is no surprise that he took the daring steps he deemed necessary and that he truly is a hero in every sense of the word. I was very touched to see how many individuals he'd had an effect on and how close he was with his friends.

Choosing Person of the Year must be a difficult task when you consider the many individuals who have made huge accomplishments throughout the past year. In a way, they all deserve recognition, but there is no doubt Mark Bingham was the right choice.

Greg M. Clark, via the Internet

What a beautiful picture to see on the cover of your double issue: Mark Bingham as Person of the Year! You made my day! I am sure his family is proud too. Although his life has been lost, his wonderful spirit is still here.

Frances Lucal, via the Internet

Mark Bingham as Person of the Year seems a little far-fetched. I think other "heroes" are just as qualified. Take Mary Cheney, who proudly included her partner, Heather Poe, at her father's vice presidential inauguration. How about Sharon Smith, subjected to the unmitigated gall of her neighbors' allowing their dogs to savagely kill her partner, Diane Whipple, then taking unprecedented steps to see that justice is done on behalf of her partner.

If your choice of candidates was limited to those involved or affected by the September 11 attacks, let's look at gay chaplain Mychal Judge, who died in the line of duty giving last rites to a dying fireman when one of the towers collapsed. Not only was he a hero at the time of the attacks, he was a hero on a daily basis by helping all in need.

How about all the people who are out there fighting for equal rights for those of us in committed relationships who seek the same considerations given other married couples? How about those who daily work to support a sick and ailing partner, then go home to nurse them in whatever possible way to make their last days more bearable and comfortable? The sacrifices of so many others in so many different circumstances leave me to believe that you could have found a more deserving and appropriate Person of the Year.

Butch Wright, Atlanta, Ga.

Thanks so much for naming my buddy Mark Bingham as your Person of the Year. In light of what Jerry Falwell had to say about September 11, it's imperative for the world to know that it was indeed a gay man who helped save our nation's capital from utter destruction. Mark was my hero, my superman, my dream man. If anyone was touched by the hand of God, it was Mark Bingham.

Doug Packer, Orlando, Fla.

Bingham was certainly courageous. But his being gay had nothing to do with his decisions and actions. If The Advocate is going to select a Person of the Year at all, I would think it would be someone who advanced equality, justice, and nondiscrimination. Choosing Bingham is a slight to all those who really do something for gay rights and a slight against Bingham himself. Because I am quite certain he didn't do what he did because he was gay or that he even stopped to think about his sexuality when making his decisions. He took the actions he did because, gay or straight, he was a man of courage. Shame on you for not selecting someone whose actions and courage actually had to do with their being queer!

Bruce Skeaff, Toronto, Canada

Please keep letters brief and to the point; we reserve the right to edit all letters as deemed necessary. Letters must include the home address and phone number of the writer and should be sent to Letters to the Editor, The Advocate, P.O. Box 4371, Los Angeles, CA 90078; faxed to (323) 467-6805; or E-mailed to We cannot respond to letters individually. For general information, send an E-mail to with info typed in the subject line of your message.

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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Feb 19, 2002
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