By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Teenage and Transgendered
Not an easy life: I was very impressed with the way the Dallas Observer and Megan Feldman told Jay and Amber's story ("Girl Meets Boy," September 20). Being transgendered is something that I would not wish on my worst enemies (yet I am proud of who I am). Not because it is so horrible, but to think you are all alone and what all you might lose...it is not an easy life. The kids that go to Youth First Texas have something that we older folks did not have at their age—a safe, fun place where they can go to meet other kids, both GLBTQ and straight, have fun and learn too. Bob, the board of directors, the financial contributors and the volunteers (as well as the kids who make YFT what it is) have created a wonderful resource. Being a volunteer at YFT has brought a richness and satisfaction to my life that I can't describe. There are many people who have met a transgendered person and didn't even know it. We are not the people depicted on The Jerry Springer Show. Thanks for showing that to the DFW metroplex. The story on Jay and Amber is just one of many that could be written about the kids at YFT. Again, thank you so much!
Tori Van Fleet
Hard road: This was an amazing article. I hope that it can make a difference in people's lives who are going through this sort of thing. It gave a new perspective on what people are going through and the level of acceptance that goes along with it.
Preach acceptance: It is very important that we continue to be educated on transgender and transsexual issues so that we can move from tolerance into acceptance. As a former board member of a PFLAG chapter and the current chaplain for Integrity Fort Worth, I understand the necessity to continually educate the public and rid the lies that many work so hard to put in the minds of the misinformed. These teens are so courageous and are to be honored. Thank you for sharing your story.
The Reverend Thomas Squiers
Chaplain, Integrity Fort Worth
Special qualities: The word that first comes to my mind in regard to this young couple is integrity. I too am a child from the South, aka the "Bible Belt." I am now in my late 40s and have been transitioning from a male gender identity to a female gender identity since 1999. During that time I've had to say good-bye to my marital family, which included two sons. Although I've continued to have a relationship with my biological family, the closeness has diminished enormously. My story mimics many stories involving the GLBT population, and with some prejudice, it's even worse for the transgendered. Still, upon my moving to Pittsburgh, I have found a family of choice that loves not only my uniqueness but appreciates "all" of the special qualities I possess. In all of the exposures to condemnation, it can be easy to forget that we have—hopefully—special qualities that endear those that choose to appreciate us without ignorance or bigotry.
Feet of Clay
Claymation: Pete Sampras ("Re-Pete," by Richie Whitt, September 27) wants something to do in his free time? Learning how to play on clay would be a good start. He never won the French Open and usually wasn't even competitive on that surface.
Monkey see: Such an American-biased story—just because a European is kicking Sampras' record. No one in Australia cried when Sampras broke Rod Laver's record. It is a shame that Roger Federer is going through with this circus. Pete always had an ego; even Andre Agassi said he looks like a monkey.
Not So Special
Bad news: I have never read such biased articles as what I have read in your paper. I will never read your paper or recommend it to anyone ever unless you write an article about Special Olympics ("Off the Short Bus," by Jesse Hyde, September 13) that is on a more positive note with verified facts. I have been involved with Special Olympics for 12 years at many different levels. My daughter is an athlete, and I think it is horrible how your paper has portrayed the organization that has provided my daughter with much enjoyment, encourages her to do her best, helps with self-esteem and provides many hours of socialization that helps her be accepted by society and to fit into the real world that is sometimes very harsh to the disabled. If you care to discuss the positives of Special Olympics sometime, please feel free to contact me. I doubt you will, because negativity and dysfunction usually sells better and is what you people seem to think makes the paper more interesting instead of an inspiring and uplifting story.