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Cozza's effect

When I first glanced at your May 22 cover story on Eagle Scout Steven Cozza ["Making a Difference"], I thought, How wonderful that this young gay man is taking on the Boy Scouts of America. When I read on to find out he is straight, I was even more impressed.

The Rev. Grant F. Sontag Mountain View, Calif.

In an era sadly lacking in true heroes, Steven Cozza's example of courage, insight, and leadership is an inspiration for us all. While the Boy Scouts of America is in conflict with its own motto to better the world through example and leadership, Cozza is living this message in every aspect, in every way, through his organization's efforts to change the BSA discrimination policy against gays. Thank you, Steven, for inspiring us all and for letting me know there is still hope, light, and love left in this self-centered and cynical old world!

Bob Rowe, Kalamazoo, Mich.

I'm truly outraged an organization willingly stands behind such hate-filled teachings. At first I thought, How in the world will society progress with, antigay groups such as the Scouts chanting their discriminatory messages to our youth? Then it hit me: Steven Cozza and others like him are the answer. If enough Stevens get together and fight the hatred preached by groups like the Boy Scouts, we can overpower the negative message they believe in. We can replace it with a positive, hope-filled message that opens the door to our children's future rather than the door to a hate-filled past filled with discriminatory values.

Matt Finefrock, Columbus Ohio

I was almost brought to tears when reading about Steven Spielberg's declining another term on the Boy Scouts advisory board and Steven Cozza's stand against the Scouts' exclusion of gays. I wonder if we get so involved with our struggle for equal rights that we forget to show our appreciation for our heterosexual allies who have stood by our side throughout the years. Thank you, Steven Spielberg, Steven Cozza, and all our heterosexual brothers and sisters who show their love and support, for us with their brave gestures and public words denouncing those who discriminate against the gay community.

Darren Petillo, Fort Lee, N.J.

Cookie crumbs

In response to "Go Ahead, Buy the Cookies" [May 22], which detailed the policies of other clubs for youth, the others were said to have inclusive nondiscrimination polices. However, most of those clubs are divided by gender into boys and girls. As an FTM transsexual, I don't see anything nondiscriminatory about that aspect of their membership requirements. While I'd have loved to join the Boy Scouts when I was young, I certainly wanted nothing to do with the Girl Scouts. Or is separate but equal all right in this case? I think I'll pass on those cookies, if you don't mind.

Kerry L. Schaefer, New Bern, N.C.

Burning Bush

Why are you expending so much print trying to convince me that the Shrub in the White House is somehow going to be OK for the GLBT community [At Issue, May 22]? The appointment of one gay man to the White House office on AIDS and the hiring of another as a consultant in the Department of Defense hardly mean the White House is throwing open the doors and rolling out the welcome mat to queer America. Besides, the sex lives of White House appointees--gay or straight--don't make any more difference to me than did Bill and Monica's. Frankly, I'd be happier if Bush didn't appoint anyone who is openly gay but did support, hate-crimes legislation and civil rights protections and wasn't hell-bent on raping the environment!

Brice Abel, Las Vegas, Nev.

I am stunned by your incessant yammering about how the "pretend president" is doing in relation to gay issues. Even thinking about it is a waste of time. He is a Republican, with nothing approaching concern or care for gays. Why waste time trying to figure out what good G.W. is going to do? His goal is to make the rich richer, and to hell with everybody else.

Rod Coyle, Tucson, Ariz.

Blessing Bush

While President Bush has many faults, it is not ethical to criticize him when he has done the right thing and to ignore him when he has not. Let's look at some of the claims and half-truths Charles Kaiser makes in his attack upon Bush [Last Word, May 22]. He states that Bush lost the popular vote. Reviews and recounts in the end showed that Bush would have won with more votes [in Florida] than he did in the "official recount." The Clinton administration's regulations on arsenic were based on less-than-conclusive scientific evidence. Bush rescinded the ergonomic regulations that would have cost businesses billions of dollars per year. The only point I can agree on is the unconstitutionality of Bush's faith-based initiative albeit for wider-reaching reasons than the termination of a gay employee--the Bill of Rights, perhaps. As for the increasingly shrill voices of "progressives," one must consider that a misnomer, seeing as how they are in favor of a regressive approach to government--mainly, that of total control over its subjects.

Micah Haber, Westford, Mass.

Marrying kinds

Evan Wolfson has been a sterling advocate for gay rights, but he makes a mistake in assuming that "the vast majority of gay people do want the freedom to marry" [Behind the Headlines, May 22]. He needs to read my book 21st Century Gay, which focuses on the divergent views within the gay community. While it is true that the vast majority of gays mid lesbians believe we should have all the rights that accrue to straights when they marry, the clear majority of those I interviewed would be perfectly happy if they gained the ancillary legal rights even though not the specific right to marry. There are many who are fundamentally suspicious of the institution of marriage. Others recognize that pushing for the right to marry can be a useful tactic in achieving legal rights but worry that it could backfire. The complexity of the issue demands that leaders like Wolfson more fully recognize the diversity of views within the gay community itself.

John Malone, Lancaster, Pa.

Beauty queens

As a psychotherapist and parent, I was horrified by the article on toddler beauty queens [The Buzz, May 22]. The objectification that these children endure is indeed a form of child abuse. Dressing kids up and parading them as if they were adults is harmful. Beauty pageants are based on sexual attractiveness. These pageants sexualize and exploit kids who are too young to say no. Shane King and Michael Butler may "obviously like children," but they profit greatly at these children's expense and are oblivious to the harm they do.

Jael Greenleaf, Los Angeles, Calif.

I was annoyed by your apparent editorial prejudice against anyone who is not "straight-acting" or a member of some gay-lesbian sociopolitical ideal in your references to Shane King and Michael Butler. You call them "whacked-out" and accuse them sarcastically of being in possession of the "finer things." I agree that King and Butler may well be over-the-top with regard to the trade they ply, but it was also clear to me that they love those sad little girls a good deal more than the girls' own parents ever could.

R.B. Connelly, West Hollywood, Calif.

Medical advice

I was photographed and quoted in the article "Out Interns" in the May 22 issue. I am variously identified as a medical student (correct), a resident (not correct), and a medical resident (not correct). The experiences of being out as a student versus as an intern/resident are very different. The big decision is whether to be out in applications for a residency. I was quoted that I plan to be out for my residency. This is true. However, it is perhaps more relevant that I have already come out in medical school.

One other minor item: I was quoted as saying that a physician told a male child his hair should be cut or he would be thought a "faggot." A slight misrepresentation--the child in question was anesthetized. This is extremely relevant given that the comment was not said to the child while he was awake and could hear it.

Sue Sun Yom, via the Internet
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Title Annotation:letters
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Jun 19, 2001
Previous Article:Sick of being pacified.

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