Letters

Thomas M.
Manhattan

The writer's last name has been withheld.


MUSTO ON LINE

What a fabulous account by Michael Musto of the reality that door people go through on a nightly basis ["Door Diva: Musto Mans the Velvet Rope at Eugene and Spa," July 17]. Musto should be applauded and get a real Spa vacation. It's all in the name of the party! Hysterical yet true.

Amy Sacco, Proprietress
Lot 61 Restaurant/Lounge
Manhattan


BEACH-BLANKET MUSTO

Forget the beach books. Just give me bound galleys of La Dolce Musto to peruse whilst playing Russian roulette with the cancerous rays.

At the risk of sounding shallow, when's the next roundup of blind items due?

Do you know that out here in the stix Musto is manna from Manhattan heaven?

David Cuthbert
New Orleans


LET US SPRAY

Erik Baard's article "Mutant Malathion" [July 24] was richly unsettling. Here in New England, where mosquitoes sing "We Shall Overcome," the West Nile virus, like Lyme disease, is now a real threat. However, if given a choice between a highly toxic bug spray and a mosquito's hypodermic tongue, I'll choose the tongue. In many ways, nature's fatal toxins are less horrific than what is cooked up in chemical labs. Perhaps this is because nature does not produce her toxins for the sake of money, as do chemical labs.

Steve Amato
Brattleboro, Vermont


SCREAM TEAM

Having read Peter Noel's article about the legal fight for a share of Abner Louima's settlement ["Cat$ and Dog$," July 24], the question in my mind is, "This surprises anyone?" Who didn't see this sort of outcome the minute it was announced that Johnnie Cochran signed onto the case? Cochran is the legal equivalent of Don King: The only color that really matters to him is the color green. Louima will be lucky to see a red cent by the time Cochran and his Nightmare Team are finished with him.

Amy Raffensperger
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania


FORCING THE ISSUE

As one of the cosponsoring organizations of the International War Crimes Tribunal on Korea held here in June, we would like to thank Chisun Lee for her excellent report ["Rite for the Wronged," July 3]. It is unfortunate that most of the mainstream media ignored this historic event.

The American people need to learn more about the hidden history of the Korean War so that we do not make the same mistakes—and commit the same war crimes—in the future.

Peace groups in the U.S. should pay more attention to the long-suffering tragedy of a divided Korea due to the continuing presence of U.S. military forces in South Korea. They are the only foreign forces still stationed there.

John Kim, President
New York Chapter, Veterans for Peace
Manhattan


OUT IN THE BARRIO

Richard Goldstein's article "¡Visibilidad! The Making of a Latino Gay Movement" [July 17] was timely and informative. However, a couple of points need to be clarified.

First, to imply that the "emergence" of the gay movement in "Hispanic communities" is recent is misleading; what is recent is our increased visibility in the predominantly white mainstream gay community. It is well known that there have been active Latino and Latina gay and lesbian activists in the Latino community since the 1970s, including the New York-based Comite Homosexual Latino Americano (COHLA). The present-day Latino queer organizations are a direct result of this long history of activism.

Second, Goldstein is mistaken when he states that the Puerto Rican Day Parade is "one of the few ethnic celebrations that never had a problem with mariconesmarching under their own banner." For many years gay and lesbian Puerto Ricans did not march because of the hostility of the spectators, who routinely threw bottles and heckled them. The parade organizers also required the homosexual contingent to march with leftist groups, and it was not until 1989—after the intervention of state human rights officials—that the groups could march on their own.

Finally, although Councilwoman Margarita Lopez did not intervene in the Bronx billboard controversy, she has been a consistent ally in advancing the rights of all Latinos and Latinas in New York City, gay or straight. She is a visible presence at many queer Latino events and ran and won her campaign as an openly lesbian Puerto Rican. She deserves a little more credit than she received in Goldstein's article.

Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes
Assistant Professor
Rutgers University
Highland Park, New Jersey

The writer is a board member of Latino Gay Men of New York.


SURVIVOR

As Latinos living and working in environments plagued with poverty, disenfranchisement, prejudice, Catholic morals, and a lack of privacy, we have to read Richard Goldstein's article "¡Visibilidad!" with a bit of caution. Coming out in our neighborhoods can be the object of congratulations from friends, as Goldstein mentions, but it almost cost my life and my partner's when we were savagely bashed by seven people of color inside a D train in the Bronx about two years ago. Visibility to become martyrs of a social movement that already has too many martyrs is not necessary. We have to be more careful than to give our lives away for a poster with the words "gay" and "sex" on a bus. We must explore other venues in which the necessary education of the people in our neighborhoods is less sensationalistic and more effective.

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