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As good as it gets

Queer as Folk good for gays [June 19]? Of course it is. For the first time in my life, I can put on my TV and see same-gender couples exploring all kinds of relationships, including friends, family, and lovers. Not only that, they actually have sex with each other. Is it good? It's great Does it represent all aspects of gay life in an accurate, balanced way? I doubt it, but how could it? It aim only one hour a week. No one ever asks whether Once and Again is good for straights. What your question implies is whether Queer as Folk portrays a positive picture of gay people for straights. Quite honestly, I couldn't care less.

Charles S. Cohen, Metuchen, N.J.

When Will & Grace first appeared, all the gay pundits howled in outrage: Jack was a stereotype, win wasn't gay enough, neither man was in a relationship, there was no man-on-man kissing. At the same time, gay America was taking the show to its heart. Now everybody loves Will & Grace, even straight people. The same thing is happening with Queer as Folk. It's a gorgeous show, well-written, well-acted, and well-produced. If it can't support every cause for every faction of our busy activist community, we!l, who said it had to? We should be grateful it's on. And if somebody thinks there should be a show about dour, middle-aged gay political activists with sagging everything confronting the great issues of our society, they're welcome to produce it. But I, for one, won't be tuning in.

Gregory Flood, via the Internet

So Showtime's Queer as Folk is controversial and sometimes shocking. So what? Everything about being queer in America is controversial, from gay marriage to White Parties to queer membership in the Boy Scouts. Why should the first prime-time television drama about the lives of American queers be any different?

Jay Stevens, Long Beach, Calif.

Every Sunday a bunch of my friends who don't have Showtime come to my house to watch Queer as Folk, and we love it. Why? Because some of us have been there, are there, going there, or wish we had been there or could go there. Is it good for gays? Do the straight program producers worry about what we think of their stuff?

Robert O. Kan, via the Internet

You quote GLAAD's Scott Seomin as saying that Queer as Folk "does show a portion of gay life that perhaps the gay community at large doesn't want everyone to know about." Uh, hello? Who doesn't know about this portion of gay life. This is what many people think gay living is all about.

Kevin Dwyer, Oakland, Calif.

Peter Paige, who plays Emmett (yet, interestingly, makes a point of telling us how unlike Emmett he is in real life), calls Queer as Folk "something we've never seen before on television" ["The Full Paige," June 19]. Actually, what we've yet to see on television is committed gay couples who aren't "statements" or "types" and are able to sustain a relationship longer than four episodes.

Kevin Dawson, Sunland, Calif.

Choice comments

So Robert Spitzer was "appalled" by how the media portrayed his study, was he ["Much Ado About Changing," June 19]? Let's see. He loved controversy and media attention enough that he went on Geraldo. He climbed into bed with NARTH and other far-right groups, who have a political and emotional investment in believing in conversion therapy, to get his "sample." He didn't bother to go talk to numerous out gay people who had "normal heterosexual functioning" for years to find out why their "functioning' failed. He releases his "study" in a politically charged environment, and then he is surprised when the media report that his "findings" suggest gays have a choice? He's either disingenuous or dumber than dirt.

Allan Barger, Lexington, Ky.

Thank you for this more detailed coverage of Spitzer's book on gay "conversion." It gives me much more information about Spitzer and his book, and I feel less challenged and angry about it after reading your article.

That is not to say I agree with Spitzer and some of his conclusions. However, your article makes it clear how the media skew the curve of reality. That is terribly unfortunate. It almost sounds as though members of the mainstream press are "out to get" gays, no matter what. The press could have done a far better job in their coverage of the Spitzer report, rather than sensationalizing it. I know from reading other material that his book energized the religious right zealots, and that is a great misfortune.

M. Vincent Turner, Boston, Mass.

Writer Chris Bull claims that "Kinsey created a straight-to-gay scale of 1 through 6." Actually, the Kinsey Scale had seven points, with the completely straight man assigned, appropriately enough, the number 0.

Henry Dudek, Madison, Wis.

Bad ergonomics?

To Kevin Ivers, communications director for the Log Cabin Republicans, as quoted in "Going Local" [June 19]: While I wholeheartedly concur with your opinion that "gay rights is not on the Bush administration's list of priorities," I wonder where you have placed your desk when you say, "I haven't seen anything come across my desk that would indicate gay people are angry that gay rights is a low priority in the White House."

I am far more than "angry" about this; I am extraordinarily peeved that anyone would put out a shingle as representing any kind of gay concern and yet advertise the Bush regime as anything other than the antithesis of that concern. The failure of Log Cabin members to repudiate Bush's hateful rhetoric and loathsome homophobia is inexcusable.

William Mullin, via the Internet

Favorite uncle

I strongly disagree with Don Shewey's review of Uncle Bob ["Poor Relation," June 19]. I not only enjoyed the three performances I saw but was surprised at how funny the first act was. To hold it against Gale Harold because he is good-looking and on TV is unfair. Although this was his first New York stage appearance, Harold started out on the stage in Los Angeles and is just learning "TV acting," as Shewey calls it. Harold did much more than "slouching and changing T-shirts." His performance as Josh was powerful, showing the confusion of a young man at a crossroads in his life, reaching out for the only human connection that matters to him.

Even more distressing was Shewey's slamming George Morfogen. Uncle Bob was written for Morfogen, and he is compelling as a man who wants to die on his own terms. Although the play wasn't perfect, to say "it's more of an embarrassment, like something the dog left on the carpet" was unduly harsh.

Doreen Wood, Highstown, N.J.


Just when we think we have an ally in the straight community who has given a sensitive portrayal of a gay man (Kerr Smith on Dawson's Creek) and we feel there's a possibility that he understands a bit about what it might be like to be a member of an oppressed minority, he comes out with a comment like "I don't think teenagers need to see two guys kissing on a weekly basis" [Rants & Raves, June 19]. Of course they do! That's exactly what straight teenagers need to see. On a daily basis, if possible. Or was Smith trying to be funny? Did he possibly mean it ironically? Am I not getting the joke? Or, as usual, is the joke on us?

David Gould, Chicago, Ill.

It's called acting

I agree with Norah Vincent when she states that the possibility of gay actors' losing roles because of their sexuality is "precisely the reason gay celebrities should come out" [East Word, June 19]. It's a shame that many people feel that a homosexual actor or actress cannot convincingly play a heterosexual character:But isn't it an actor's job to "become" someone they are not and make me believe it? If they cannot do that, then they simply are not good actors.

Vincent not only made a valid point but asked a valid question. In reference to a lawsuit (and since then, a second) Tom Cruise has filed for being called gay, is he protesting too much? Thank you, Ms. Vincent, for being so eloquent.

J. Misha Tkalec, Phoenix, Ariz.

For the record

In our June 19 story "Is It Good for Gays?" Queer as Folk executive producer Ron Cowen's name was inadvertently misspelled. The Advocate regrets the error.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Liberation Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jul 17, 2001
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