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Bashing Bush

How appropriate that your profile on George W. Bush appeared in your Independence Day issue ["Who Is George W. Bush?" July 4]. It's a perfect wake-up call for all of us to defend the rights our forefathers fought for over 200 years ago and that we are desperately close to losing. Bush is a worst-case scenario for gays and lesbians; he has the convictions and beliefs of a Pat Robertson but comes across as nonthreatening and cuddly. In office he would demolish what few rights we still have as Americans, and with an "aw, shucks" grin he will assure the rest of "mainstream America" that he is only doing it for our own good.

Paul Sungenis, Vineland, N.J.

Although my initial reaction to your putting Dubya on the cover of your latest issue was negative, I began to realize you might be using it as an attention-getting device. Although generally I am against using fear as a motivator, I think it may work really well here. I hope all of us readers are so scared this November that we will make voting for Al Gore a number 1 priority. I hope all your efforts pay off!

R. Miya, via the Internet

Your cover asks, "What if he wins?" I ask, "Are you ready to return to pre-Stonewall days?" Bush may be a nice guy, but his consistent stand on the side of the religious right's antigay views is a clear sign that his term as president would be a return to the dark ages of this country's history. Vote for him, and you're advancing only his own political gain, ushering in an era of doublespeak.

Michael Labadie, Providence, R.I.

You missed the most important issue about a Bush presidency. Whether his cabinet has any gay members or whether he will or will not meet with Log Cabin is immaterial compared with his appointment of at least two, if not three, Supreme Court members. If he is elected president, we can look forward not to a standstill on the issue of gay rights but a reversal that will take us back to the time when Stonewall was just a figment of our imagination. We need to stop worrying about what Rich Tafel says or does and start working as hard as we can to support Gore, whether we love him or not.

Robert O. Kan, via the Internet

Presidential pageant

I wish reporter Chris Bull had tried to pin campaign spokesman Scott McClellan down to specifics on ENDA and "don't ask, don't tell" ["The Official Word," July 4]. However, I'm sure McClellan's answer would have been "Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect." Is Bush running for president or Miss America?

William F. Orr, Dix Hills, N.Y.

I have to applaud the high comedy of this sidebar. One is forced to conclude that McClellan's role is either to make his employer's vague non sequiturs appear plausibly sane or (and I concede that this is less likely) to act as a mole whose mission is to demonstrate the Bush campaign's comprehensive vapidity on every conceivable issue of importance in the campaign, including those touching the lives of his would-be lesbian and gay constituents.

Julian Halliday, Dublin, Ohio

Uncompleted journey

I was deeply troubled by the article on gay Republican mayor Daniel Stewart ["The Long Road to the GOP," July 4]. As I read the article, I thought, Well, he seems to have a pretty decent attitude about politics and being gay. Then it was revealed that Stewart did not "bring his partner to his inauguration" because he did not want to "go out and throw this in people's faces"! Why should it be considered in-your-face to attend an important event with your partner? Straight couples, both married and single, do it all the time.

Michael Spielman, Walnut Creek, Calif.

I enjoyed the "The Long Road to the GOP" until the final paragraph, in which Stewart felt it necessary to strike out against Ellen DeGeneres. I don't believe gays and lesbians are utilizing their collective power in a positive manner when they become derogatory of another individual's mission. Hasn't Stewart learned his lesson from the time he heckled a fellow gay high school student who was trying to stand up for his rights? Ellen, continue with your pursuit of equality, and maybe someday this small-town New York mayor will wise up.

Jell DiGiacinto, Rockville, Md.

A Cabin divided?

I was perplexed by Michelangelo Signorile's "Log Cabin Mutiny" article [July 4]. Signorile asserts Log Cabin's executive director, Rich Tafel, would be replaced by a Bush loyalist and that he has lost the confidence of the national board, of which I am chair. I have never spoken to Signorile about this issue or any other. He failed to contact me or any other member of the Log Cabin board while writing this piece. Had he taken a few moments' time, he would have been told that the board was about to extend Tafel's contract for another year. Instead we get unnamed attacks on a successful gay leader.

Robert Stears, via the Internet

As an officer of Log Cabin Republicans, I was surprised to read former congressman Steve Gunderson's claim that Rich Tafel is not a bridge builder. Had Gunderson attended our events in Washington over the past few years, he would have heard speeches from people like Rep. Tom Coburn, one of the most conservative members of Congress, who spoke about how Log Cabin can be a bridge for "reconciliation" between gays and conservatives. And Tafel is probably best known among gay leaders as someone who is most likely to forge strong working relationships with people on opposite ends of the political spectrum, like Urvashi Vaid of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. So with friends like Coburn and Vaid, the idea that Tafel is not a bridge builder is laughable.

Bill Brownson, Columbus, Ohio

All is forgiven

While reading "Coming Out of Hatred" by Mark Flanigan [My Perspective, July 4], I kept waiting for him to say, "I'm sorry." By the time I'd finished the article and read his credentials, I realized he didn't need to say he's sorry. He has more than apologized by giving his support to the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Bill Millar, Warminster, Pa.

I'm not particularly fond of testimonials, but Flanigan's is indicative of such a beautiful coming-of-age, I felt compelled to respond. Flanigan has accomplished a journey from rejection to acceptance to tolerance. Perhaps he feels there is much he must be forgiven for, but we are all in the same boat. Our greatest challenge as human beings is being able to forgive ourselves. True greatness lies along the path on which he has taken his first steps. He will see that the "shame" he bears with respect to his past will eventually become the source of his strength, because if he has trod that path from hate to love, he is equipped to show others the way as well.

John Walker, via the Internet

It is my feeling that all this hate is a smoke screen for the misplaced energy of a prosperous America. Are people really that hateful, or is it that they are uncreative in expressing their energy positively? Somewhere along the way parents and society stopped helping our children see the joy in diversity. Today, joy seems limited to Hallmark moments, court victories, or a million dollars. I see joy in Flanigan's ability and courage to change and our ability as a society to recognize him, publish him, and use his story to help others find the light.

Jonathan Chenkin, Long Beach, N.Y.

Flowers for Lazio

While Rick Lazio, a moderate Republican, uses the word "pansy," The Advocate writes an article asking if he is "a loser when it comes to gay rights" [The Nation, July 4]. You fail to mention that he has been a leader in Congress on HIV/AIDS issues and has said he would support legislation to end workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Carl Schmid, Washington, D.C.

Money talks

Your recent article "Taking Stock in Ourselves" [July 4] documents corporate America's increasing interest in the gay community via majority equity investments in and PlanetOut. Am I the only one having trouble

understanding why this is a good thing?

Perhaps gays should celebrate the fact that they are now "mainstream." However, gays are increasingly finding themselves oppressed by a rigid consumerism that seeks to define what clothes they wear, what movies they see, and what music they listen to. What happened to gay liberation, which was supposed to mean defining your own identity? I long for the days when a gay identity meant you stood for progressive political and social values instead of just being another category of empty consumerism.

David Havelka, Irvine, Calif.

Your story quotes GeoCities founder David Bohnett as saying that "you don't just find a lot of out gay business executives." We beg to differ. We founded McCormack & Associates in 1993 as the first openly gay retained search practice. We've recruited for gay and nongay companies seeking senior-level gay business executives. In all cases we recruit the best possible candidate, irrespective of sexual orientation, race, or ethnic background. Business executives are coming out of the closet in increasing numbers, and few are willing to settle for an environment that is anything but open and welcoming.

Joe McCormack, Los Angeles, Calif.

Taking the rap

I was appalled to read your review of Eminem's album ["A Bad Rap?" July 4], which implies we shouldn't be worried about his hate rhetoric. This guy is idolized by young men as something to aspire to. He advocates abusing women, gays, and anyone else he doesn't like. Maybe the reviewer couldn't figure out who Marshall Mathers is, but he's not fooling me. Eminem is a gangsta rapper who lives his life in violence, preaches violence, and will probably come to a violent end. I believe in free speech and "artistic" freedom, so I would not advocate his being silenced, but I will not listen to a radio station that plays his "music," and I sure as hell am in no doubt as to who and what he is.

J. Zingesser, Albany, N.Y.

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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Article Details
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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Aug 15, 2000
Previous Article:The D'Amato factor.

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