Howls of outrage and squeals of delight from our astonished fans.

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Best of What?

To the Editor,

I am still in a state of shock after reading your pick for the best upscale restaurant in Tucson ("Best of Tucson®," September 26). I was an unfortunate victim of Janos about two months ago. I was not only disappointed in the food, but the poorly designed decor. I should have taken my $350 elsewhere. I have dined at some of the finest restaurants in the country, not to mention being a skilled cook in my own right. It amazes me how many accolades this restaurant has received. Have any of your staff even been to Stone Ashley? Clearly the finest upscale dining in Tucson.

--Michael Vega


Cut It Out!

To the Editor,

I used to look forward to picking up The Weekly and getting all my political and current news from entertaining intelligently written articles. I have been saddened to see the ever-increasing sex advertising in The Weekly. OK, sex sells, and I guess I'll have to live with that. I think everyone who has an education knows that pornography is a direct contributer to sexual violence; there have been numerous studies. I am wondering who had the major lapse of clear judgment to run the article "Bushwhacked" (September 26).

What the hell was that? Grow up! Since when is a woman's pubic hair or the lack thereof a current event that merits two pages and yet another pantie shot of a half-nude girl-child photograph. (As if there aren't enough in the sex ads!) Why would Juliana Piccillo even be sent to interview these idiots? And who the hell cares? Who exactly are you pandering to with this kind of sexually charged drivel? As a woman I can only say this is crap, it's insulting and of no interest to a majority of the people I know that read The Weekly. Please stop publishing this sort of sexually explicit stupidity and let's get some real news back in The Weekly!

And for all the hot and horny readers of that article, women don't like it, it is itchy, you get ingrown hairs that fester and cause irritation and it hurts! I know, they used to shave us when we had children, and I would never voluntarily do it to myself! It's not a "look," it's another stupid male concept of beauty (beauty equals youth) that sucks for the women who are insecure enough to try it! It certainly is not worth the time it took to write about it!

--Lori Andersen


Drowning in the Gene Pool

To the Editor,

It's amazing how long someone can take to present an argument that has no basis in actual fact. Case in point: Denny Banks' letter (October 3) regarding the article "Reflections of a Many Gendered World" (September 19). He states that "those with genetically destabilized sex hormones lose track of who, or what, they are"; that they are "victims" of a "gene-based misperception." It seems that not only is Mr. Banks an avid letter-writer; quite possibly in his spare time he is an amateur geneticist, and may have conducted several wide-ranging studies on the transgender community. Not only that, but he seems to be quite a history buff, as he refers to the "thousands of years of physiological, psychological, and spiritual abuse that readily explain this 'genetic discombobulation.'" Naturally, he must be referring to the period in history when people were forced into transgender roles against their will, many by their own church, and the subsequent abuse they risked by refusing to comply.

The obvious solution is, of course, to address the problem genetically, where it originates. Perhaps with continuing research and funding, we will be able to remove these terrible "flaws" from the human gene pool--and perhaps someday, dare we dream it, we will live in a lovely world filled with thin, white straight people who do what they're told.

Maybe by then we'll have a cure for ignorance too.

--Brenden Kearney


Straight People Must Come Out, Too

To the Editor,

Tomorrow, October 11, marks National Coming Out Day. On October 11, 1987, half a million people marched on Washington D.C. for gay and lesbian equality. National Coming Out Day was founded a year later to honor the first anniversary of the March on Washington. It is a day when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are urged to "come out"--to openly let everyone know their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. On Saturday, a daylong celebration at Reid Park known as OUToberFEST, will commemorate the day in Tucson.

The premise behind this annual event is that as the general public becomes more aware of how many LGBT people exist, of the vital roles they play in society, and of their value and worth as human beings, it becomes more difficult for anti-LGBT forces to dehumanize and demonize LGBT people. Opinion polls show that people who personally know someone who is LGB and/or T are more likely to support equal rights for all LGBT people. Every time someone comes out and says, "I'm gay" or "I'm transgender" to a family member, friend, co-worker or even a stranger, society takes a step toward helping all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in their struggle for equal rights.

When LGBT people come out to family and friends, they challenge the many myths and stereotypes that exist--that LGBT people are perverts, child molesters, diseased, or desiring "special rights." These malicious myths are shattered by the simple reality of LGBT lives. It is easy to hate "queers" when you don't know any; it becomes much more difficult to hate LGBT people when they are already your favorite friends, coworkers, classmates, neighbors, children, aunts, siblings, police officers, teachers, athletes, musicians, dog park buddies and so on.

There is another group of people, however, who should also come out today--straight allies. A straight ally is someone who is not LGBT, but personally advocates for equal rights and fair treatment of LGBT people. Straight allies are some of the most effective and powerful advocates for the LGBT movement. Just as men eventually came forward for women's right to vote, and white allies joined the black civil rights movement, the LGBT movement needs strong heterosexual allies. For many members of the LGBT community, straight allies have proven invaluable both personally and politically. Straight allies can speak up when LGBT people who are afraid of losing their children or job cannot. Indeed, straight allies' voices have often been heard while those of LGBT people have been silenced or ignored.

Very simply, straight allies need to come out because it is the right thing to do. Indeed, an injustice to one of us is an injustice to all of us. When homophobic comments go unchecked, the silence is complicity. The tide is turning on LGBT issues. While it used to socially acceptable to make openly anti-gay remarks and jokes or to mock a lesbian behind her back, those days are swiftly coming to an end. Society is beginning to see many homophobic people for what they really are: uninformed, fearful and mean-spirited.

When straight allies have the courage to come out, they serve as positive role models for everyone else. Consider letting other people know where you stand on LGBT issues; display a "Straight, but not Narrow" bumper sticker on your truck; interrupt homophobic jokes when you hear them; vote for candidates that support LGBT issues; or come to Reid Park Saturday to learn more about the LGBT community.

As a straight ally, voicing your support for LGBT people is powerful. Whether you are challenging a stereotype, correcting a misrepresentation, or merely voicing your support for a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender friend, relative or colleague, you can make a positive difference. Happy National Coming Out Day!

--Cathy Busha
Program Director
Wingspan Domestic Violence Project

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