Gay Parade

To the Editor,

For the most part, I'd have to agree with Tom Danehy about Ellen and the associated hype ("Out Rage," Tucson Weekly, May 8).

Mailbag Just one question for Danehy, though: exactly which "gay lifestyle" are you objecting to? The poodle-walking, martini-drinking, Bette-Davis-watching gay male lifestyle? Or the softball-playing, veggie-burrito-eating, crew-cut-butch lesbian lifestyle? Or maybe some other unspecified "homosexual lifestyle"? How about some clarification here?

Actually, there is no one "lifestyle" that accurately describes all of us who are gay or lesbian. After four years of living in Tucson (1992-'96) and reading The Weekly, I guess I figured Danehy already knew that, but I was obviously wrong.

--Stan Wonn

San Francisco, CA

To the Editor,

Regarding "Out Rage" (Tucson Weekly, May 8): Danehy worries that unless he openly embraces gay and lesbian "lifestyles" he'll be branded a bigot. He needn't worry about the embrace. His opinions already brand him.

First of all, it is not a lifestyle. Yachting is a lifestyle. Being a fundamentalist Christian is a lifestyle. However, loving someone of your own sex is natural.

Furthermore, Mr. Danehy, you probably are what you fear the most, otherwise why would this bother you so much? Your complaints about Ellen being bad TV come across as a smoke screen so you can talk about your real agenda. Methinks thou doth complain too much.

You see, Mr. Danehy, no one, especially Ellen, is asking you to embrace anything. Lesbians and gays aren't asking you and your ilk for anything. We're demanding our equal rights and taking our place in open society. I don't need or want your approval. And, if your church teaches intolerance, that goes double for them.

Danehy exposes his mentality in his own words. He says, "I decided to fight back by doing what I do best, ignoring everything" Put simply, Danehy is ignorant. He has ignored the violence and injustice put on lesbians and gays. He has ignored them losing their jobs, their homes and their families. He has ignored the gay and lesbian teens thrown to the streets by ignorant parents. He has ignored the censorship and criminalization of lesbian and gay lives. He ignores the constant media blitz promoting heterosexuality and breeding.

Danehy, and those like him, walk through life in a heterosexist daze. Anything that might rattle their ignorant minds is immediately deemed sinful, immoral and illegal. Call them bigots and they start crying foul. After all, they consider themselves the arbiters of culture and all that is true. And when those who control culture are ignorant, you end up with an ignorant culture.

Ellen's show was important because she stood up to those like Danehy and said, "No more!" We will not be invisible on the television. Since television is the single most powerful medium for information in our culture, this statement was especially important.

Danehy can choose a lifestyle of ignorance. But we, the lesbians and gays around the world, will not be silenced. We will not go away. We are here. We are queer. Get over it. Way over it!

I would also like to add that this piece of trash written by Danehy indicates just how far The Weekly is willing to go to maintain its heterosexist image. You may run gay and lesbian personals, but you rarely feature important gay and lesbian events and news. Now you choose to run articles that promote intolerance. You are an accomplice in the crimes and injustice against lesbians and gays. Shame!

--James Ru

To the Editor,

Regarding "Out Rage" (Tucson Weekly, May 8): It's ironic that Tom is bothered by Ellen's media attention; it's because of people with his attitude "don't ask, don't tell," that homosexuality is still such an issue. As long as it is considered something that should be kept quiet it will continue to fascinate everyone. If it were really that accepted for a gay character to have his own TV. show, then the media would not be having such a heyday with it. Tom says there are "a lot of people [who] have made a sincere and difficult effort to reach a point of tolerance for a lifestyle they neither understand nor could be comfortable with living." Well, Tom, how else do you think they have:

1) Become familiar with it?

2) Been forced to accept it as an element of society?

Through repeated mass exposure, of course.

I'm not gay, but it always angers me when I see them being denied things the rest of us take for granted, such as legal protection, and then being accused of seeking special attention when they fight back. What bothers me about most people's prejudices is that they're uninformed. Go out there and do some research on the Gay Rights Movement. If it still seems to you that they're "forcing" their sexuality on everyone else, then take that stance.

All good writers do research before forming an opinion. It's quite obvious Tom Danehy was too lazy to do his. But this is nothing new. Most people are too scared or too lazy to do the research necessary to give their prejudices any real merit.

--Celia Forno

Thin Treatise

To the Editor,

Despite my straight white male composition, Stacey Richter may be pleased to know that I disliked Chasing Amy as intensely as she did ("Straight And Narrow-Minded," Tucson Weekly, April 24). She may not be pleased to learn that I disliked her review of it for all the same reasons I disliked the movie. She and Kevin Smith are guilty of identical transgressions: trying to pass off some tiresome, thin treatise as some kind of intelligent contribution to the arts.

It's a klutzy way to review a movie in the first place. Movies are never about their subject matter, you know; they are never about what they're about. They're about how they're about what they're about and should probably be examined in those terms. Viewing this movie and reading about it were like being confronted on my doorstep by a fatuous overweening fundamentalist with a badly written Jesus tract in his hand.

Speaking of which, Richter should try to get a grip on her grammar. It's Chasing Amy "just lies there," not Chasing Amy "just lays there," a matter of transitive versus intransitive verbs, neither of which, I can assure you, having anything to do with meditation.

--Darry Dolan

Desert Rats

To the Editor,

Regarding "Wandering Soul" (Tucson Weekly, May 8): Save us from the self-styled desert rats.

Less than 100 years after the European land grab was complete, a select few of the sons and daughters of the invaders began to admire themselves (and, occasionally each other) for being attracted to and able to survive for days--or even longer--in the desert home of the people who preceded them. A perceived connection with the desert now is no less than heroic, profound and insightful.

This mindset always requires a connection (often fabricated) to the Indian cultures of the region. The article on Everett Ruess repeats a story that is unwilling to rest simply with the fascination of a young man with the land and its impact on his writing and artistry. No, he must be so highly regarded by the tribes he meets that they spontaneously invite him to participate in ceremonies and rituals that their own members must be trained for over time or otherwise initiated under rigorous guidelines.

This ersatz desert rat genre is nothing more than politically correct imperialism. They got the land, now they want the culture.

--Mark Bahti

You Betcha

To the Editor,

Regarding "Fife's Last Stand" (Tucson Weekly, April 17): The state does not like Indian gaming because people spend money at the casinos instead of the state lottery. Gaming has historically involved organized crime, so naturally the state wants to know the appropriation of the gaming proceeds. Oh, and gaming has really helped the Native Americans? I haven't been out on the Reservation lately.

Sometimes I wonder about y'all.

--Allan Sanchez

No Bull

To the Editor,

Restaurant reviews come well after the car ads in my reading priorities, but Rebecca Cook's "Beef Relief" (Tucson Weekly, April 10) drew me in. Yes, I am in need of a "red meat fix!" Since this is an "alternative" newspaper, maybe reporter R. Cook has found a place that serves healthy meat--no D.E.S., antibiotics or etc. But no luck. "USDA inspected" is not enough, Ms. Cook.

--R. C. Leonard

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