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The O'Reilly factor. (reader forum).

I was totally astonished by the interview with Bill O'Reilly ["Bill O'Reilly Really Likes You," September 17]. He's in favor of gay rights, but we should just shut up about it? Come on, Bill, would you have said to Martin Luther King Jr., "I'm in favor of equal rights, but do you have to march?"

No social change is made without honesty and visibility. Unfortunately, it's when these two things occur that conservatives reply with such ludicrous statements as his.

Bob Poshedley, Twinsburg, Ohio

As soon as I finished laughing, I had to write and ask, Has writer Michael Giltz ever listened to O'Reilly's syndicated radio show? My guess would be no; I listen to it daily. One of his first shows dealt with gay marriage. One of O'Reilly's comments was, "If we pass this, the next thing you know, we'll have guys wanting to marry basset hounds." Tolerant? When I E-mailed him and took him to task on this, he read my E-mail on the air and replied, "You will never receive parity. Never! You are promoting an alternative lifestyle." Alternative? What's my alternative? To live a complete lie by marrying a woman and having children? Hardly an alternative.

In your interview O'Reilly states, "I've never understood why anyone ... would want to tell the world what their sexual preference is," then a few sentences later he states, "I didn't get married until very late in life." Married? The act still reserved strictly for heterosexuals? Maybe he didn't tell the world, but he did tell every Advocate reader exactly what his sexuality is.

I wish the gay media would stop gobbling up these false morsels of tolerance tossed to us by these conservatives so we won't boycott their advertisers. When he says "Shut up," my interpretation is, "Look, I've given you your interview, I've said what you want to hear--which isn't necessarily what I believe--so now will you please shut up!"

Mark G. Poirier, Boston, Mass.

I liked your article on Bill O'Reilly, and I agree with him: Shut up. Just shut up. As a gay man, I am tired of seeing the "victimized" types in the community who think everyone has to accept him or her. If you accept yourself, you don't need validation from those outside you. Coming out to people is merely a ploy to come to terms with yourself; you want others to accept you so you can feel normal. If you don't think you're normal, then you're uneducated--clear and simple.

Greg Wirth, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Bill O'Reilly really likes me? Are you kidding? It is hard to tell if he is that desperate for ratings as to be soliciting the gay community or if he really believes his nonsensical opinions. He wishes to come across as the "everyman," Mr. Common Sense, a "nuts-and-bolts guy" telling it "straight" with no spin, but strip off the thin veneer of gruff frankness that gives the semblance of logic and you have wrongheaded idiocy. O'Reilly comes out for gay equality? Telling gay people to be quiet is not supporting us. We would have no equal rights at all and still be in the false safety of our closets following that kind of advice. The day O'Reilly doesn't interrupt the people on his show and truly listens to someone instead of always thinking of the next thing to say is the day I'll "shut up" (whatever the hell that may mean or entail) about being gay.

Duane Boyer, Los Angeles, Calif.

Bill O'Reilly is among the new batch of seemingly LGBT-friendly conservatives who carry their "live and let live" motto as a banner for the American way of life. When in American history has remaining silent about inequality ever produced change? This is not the way American political life works, and he knows it. His tolerance of homosexuals clearly does not mean acceptance. O'Reilly says he does not understand why anyone would talk about their sexual orientation and that it is "no one's business but yours." While this may be true, O'Reilly speaks from a position of heterosexual privilege (to add to his white male privilege), where sexuality is not important because it is assumed. He does not have to worry about talking about his private life because it will not be used to deny him basic civil rights. If O'Reilly and others like him (including many gay conservatives) truly find gay pride offensive, foolish, and counterproductive, then they should deconstruct the system that makes heterosexuality invisible and therefore "normal" while making homosexuality visible and "abnormal."

Matthew Nelson, Columbus, Ohio
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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Oct 15, 2002
Words:759
Previous Article:All about Randy. (reader forum).
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