By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
I wonder if what really bothers Mr. Randy Thomas ("Mr. Fixit," July 20) is not the "it" but actually the lifestyle. The comments on his "gay dream" and the fact that he is not his sexuality really touch me. I believe many of my homosexual brothers and sisters really do wish to have that gay dream but are stuck in that illusion that being a homosexual is about sex. My mother told me the gay lifestyle was lonely, and she was right. It is very difficult to build close friendships and romantic partnerships when you are out looking for sex.
Even breeders can relate to the situation. People cannot be themselves for fear of rejection, and homosexuals know rejection. No one knows you, and you know no one. In periods of abstinence, I have found all sorts of new things in life. You may even find a belief in God or concern for other people. I stopped looking for sex and started looking for life, and life gets richer. Don't get me wrong--even not pursuing sex I am still as queer as a three-dollar bill, but the hunger no longer eats away at me. I will let Mike Piazza debate the theological side of this issue, but I think the radio DJ gave Mr. Thomas the best advice anyone can: "Just be honest, be who you are."
On reading the unusually large article about a man by the name of Thomas who has come to realize that he didn't want to be gay anymore, I have found several areas of this article to be very insulting. After reading this article twice, I have concluded that this Thomas character went in the wrong direction as a gay man, which can be done just as easily as a straight man. He went to the wrong places, did the wrong things, and ended up disliking himself.
His poor decisions are not limited only to the gay lifestyle. Heterosexuals go to the wrong places, do the wrong things, and also end up disliking themselves. It was quite obvious with comments such as, "His voice has become deeper since his conversion, though he sounds 'nelly' when he's upset. He's also begun to like football," that he is trying to disguise his true identity, not as a gay man, or ex-gay man, but as an individual who is timid with his voice and uses hand gestures to get a point across as a way of better communication.
And what is this B.S. about liking football? Let me be the first to point out that I know a number of gay men who enjoy watching the sport of football, and not just for the men in tights. Also, not all gay men have nelly voices and use hand gestures while talking. I believe this whole article was stereotyping all gay people. I am 23 years old. I am gay. I have been in a very healthy relationship with another gay man for two years now. I do not do any drugs whatsoever besides alcohol, which I have recently totally quit. I do not smoke. I have never cheated on my boyfriend, nor has he been unfaithful to me. I have had only three sexual partners in my life, and the third person is my last. I am not a flamboyant person. I rarely go out to the gay bars and clubs anymore unless it is to be with my friends.
My boyfriend has been away in the Navy for almost a year now, yet I have never cheated or thought about cheating on him. We are both very happy with our relationship and our future together. Truthfully, I don't even know many straight couples who have lived up to the standards that this gay man (myself) has.
So in conclusion, I would like to commend Thomas for his efforts in transforming himself not into a straight man, but into a better person and wish him luck. I just hope that he doesn't decide that liking football, or having a deeper voice, or not using hand gestures, or growing a gut, or drinking a six-pack a day, or being aggressive, or being insensitive, or any stereotypes of a straight man will make him more of a straight man or a man at all. The fact is, he needs to be his true self whether or not he succeeds in changing his attraction on all levels from men to women.
Jeez...what an incredible article! I just now finished reading it and must say that while it's commendable of Randy Thomas to follow his heart (even though our personal philosophies are beyond incompatible) and that his voice deserves to be heard with the others, I'm shocked, simply shocked, that here it is the year 2000, and there are actually still people out there who have "issues" with masturbation. That's almost as frightening as the "conversion" movement itself.
I am so thankful that we finally have the definition of a "real man": a deep voice and a love of football. We now also have the definition of a "gay man": drug-abusing, limp-wristed sex fiend. While Mr. Ex-gay preaches to the ignorant, he has the potential to raise the level of gay teen suicide and encourage angry young men to re-create the Matt Shepard tragedy with his lies. I wonder how his "Christian" heart handles that burden? Shut up, Mr. Thomas! Your words of cloaked hate and self-deprivation are only harming people by creating self-loathing in themselves and fueling a hate for a community that has had its share of attacks.
I would like to thank the Dallas Observer and Lisa Singh for the July 20 feature story, "Mr. Fixit," about "ex-gay" homo-heterosexuals. I was having such a bad morning, I was going to cry, and then I opened the Observer and read this truly uplifting article. After all, everyone needs a good laugh every now and then.
I thought about responding about how all of these "ex-gays" are delusional and confused, but I think the article speaks for itself. I do, however, have two observations.
First, it's interesting to note that the "ex-gays" who seem to struggle the most are also struggling to free their lives from drug and alcohol addictions. I can't think of one "ex-gay" in any article that I've ever read in any paper in the country whose "testimony" doesn't include the phrase, "I was high on drugs and/or alcohol and cruising the gay bars." What do these two things have in common with each other? Taken individually, nothing, but put them together with a confused, minimally educated party animal, and that's the common denominator that, for "ex-gays," ties homosexuality and drug abuse together. Solution: Get off drugs, and then you'll be able to see more clearly. One is a disease, the other is not.
Second, the AMA has declared that homosexuality is not a disease, and thus, there is no "treatment" for it. When we can all begin to understand that healthy people cannot be treated or "cured" from diseases that do not exist, then maybe "ex-gays" will realize that the only thing "wrong" with them is their own inabilities to be accountable for the fact that they are alcoholics and drug abusers who just happen to be gay. I don't ever hear these people asking for Jesus' help to cure their drug and alcohol addictions, which happen to be treatable.
Poor Mr. Thomas.
So caught up in a confusing web of personal spiritual/sexual freedom and/or religious indentured servitude. We all have our own spiritual paths to follow, as you have discovered, Mr. Thomas, and that path begins in our own hearts and ends there as well.
There is no homogenization of spirituality, no one world religion. Beauty exists in stark contrast to darkness, and can be no other way. There are only our personal paths, and how we choose to travel them, exhibiting beauty (or not). Your path is difficult, strewn with complex confusions--between what you believe deep in your soul, and what you are being told by the world around you, whether calling itself Christian or secular.
Hooray for the Barneses, who refuse to accept unethical practices in city government without fighting back ("Tribal vengeance," July 20).
Mr. [Larry] Duncan and his city staff "tribe" are a glaring example of small-minded people with a little power. Such a shame that Dallas is being represented by such as these. Surely we can do better.
Mr. Duncan, it's time for you to do the right thing and put up that flood wall for Mr. and Mrs. Barnes.
Mike Murray's letter (July 20) about Madalyn O'Hair was inflammatory, to say the least. I met Ms. O'Hair on occasion in the 1970s. She was always kind to me personally, even allowing me to purchase books from her organization on credit (at the time I was a poor serviceman, just back from Vietnam). So I was able to read works by famous unbelievers such as Robert Ingersoll and Mark Twain, viewpoints I had never encountered before.
Alas, I eventually found Ms. O'Hair, while brave and brilliant, nonetheless something of a misanthrope with a quarrelsome personality. With such character flaws, she eventually alienated many of her allies.
Even given Ms. O'Hair's alienating personality, Mr. Murray's letter is dishonest and unfair to the life of Madalyn. In fact, his use of disinformation seems to emanate from a singular, untrustworthy source: Madalyn's Christian son, William Murray. Bill Murray has made a career of bashing his mother. It is no doubt a living, as Bill travels the fundamentalist circuit, recycling unverifiable stories about his late mother. It is obvious that Bill simply hates his mother and also needs to make a buck.
And Bill Murray's background is not without controversy. In the late '70s, a highly publicized theft of computer tapes (of membership information) from American Atheists in Austin occurred. Lo and behold, I received a mailing from a new atheist organization called "Second Foundation," with Bill Murray, now in Arizona, as president. Something smelled, and I didn't bite. When his own atheist organization failed, Bill Murray became a born-again Christian and began to profit from being the son of Madalyn Murray O'Hair.
I ask the letter writer Mr. Murray to carefully read Bill Murray's Web site again. When I perused it a few months ago, I was struck by something. Bill was still using his mother as a whipping post, and there seemed to be no real expression of love for either his late mother, his late brother, or his late daughter. No remorse, no sadness. Character flaws must run in the family.
Jerry Wayne Borchardt