The penis on the cover of your Queer Issue [July 2] was a kick in the stomach. I'm a young lesbian who has spent many long, hard years finding a place in the sun. Gay Pride weekend is a time of sunlight and warmth for me, one of the times when I feel included and celebrated, so I was hoping the Voice would reflect this. Though there were bright spots in the issue, such as the poetic "Baby Outs Me" by Laura Conaway, your cover blotted out a little of my pride weekend sunshine.

name withheld


I was moved by Laura Conaway's article "Baby Outs Me." Conaway expresses brilliantly how I have felt ever since I knew my partner and I would be fathers to three little girls. He teases me because when people ask, "Which one is the father?" I practically shout, "We both are!" Our children will never see us hesitate, never sense embarrassment or reticence from us. Thank you for explaining better than I can why this is so important, not for me but for our children.

James DeWitt
Summit, New Jersey


Re Steve Weinstein's "The Return of Public Sex" [July 2]: How does having to submit to a panel of judges for advance approval, then paying $20 to enter a hotel room or apartment before having sex count as "public"? I guess Giuliani's anti-sex efforts have affected even the memory of what public sex can be! Public sex should be in public, like a park, rest room, or subway station—not behind closed doors! (A curtain, maybe!)

Andy Fair, Producer


I love Pat Califia, but I am disappointed that in the article "T4U" [July 2] he chalks up his new manly desires to the chemical effects of testosterone. By doing so, Califia reinforces the biological determinism he seeks to challenge. If there's one thing I've learned from the queer movement, it's that hormones are not the only cause of who we are or what we want. For example, maybe just knowing he's taking the drug gives Califia license to perform a more masculine role, to lose those carefully taught feminine inhibitions about gratification. Many women sit at work horny as hell, but wouldn't dream of getting sucked off on their way home because they don't see it as a possibility. I'm sure Califia understands the distinction; I just wish he'd said it.

Rebecca Schiff


Richard Goldstein's "The Myth of Gay Macho" [July 2] perplexed me. He seems to think that many gay men are hiding from their true selves by adopting a straight form of masculinity and that if freed from such restraints we'd be mincing queens, finger-snapping our way down Fifth Avenue. I would counter that Goldstein is buying into the straight idea of homosexuality, i.e., fey, hairless little boys who can't throw a ball, and who talk several octaves higher than our mothers.

Goldstein's assertion that so-called "homocons" want gay men to "hang with straight men, join a rugby league, take testosterone . . . and start identifying with the aggressor" is nonsense. Have you been to a trendy straight nightspot lately? Most of the men look like they could fit right into any of the more fabulous gay night spots. Is it sooo hard to accept that the majority of gay men are simply men first and gay second?

Dr. Mark Milton
Nyack, New York

Richard Goldstein replies: I never said you had to be a fairy to be authentically gay. I did say that most gay people are flexible when it comes to gender presentation. Try it—you'll like it.


Michael Musto's column in the Queer Issue is the best damn thing he has ever done. I am going to send copies to every gay and straight person I know. After 83 years, I felt so wonderful reading it. It made me proud to be gay, and I will march down Fifth Avenue with a smile on my face.

Henry Hurst
World War II Veteran


Re Allen Barra's article "Nil and Void: Soccer Mania? Give Me a Red Card" [July 9]: "Nil" and "void" are good words to describe what I think of Barra's opinions about soccer. In his rejection of the sport, he is acting as ignorantly as the so-called "soccer bullies" he refers to who supposedly want to force it on other people.

João C.J. Wambier
Curitiba, Brazil

Allen Barra's "Nil and Void" was shallow and insipid. Is it really that hard to discover what is the most popular sport in Muslim countries before rushing in with a gratuitous comment on stone throwing? Ought one to reflect on the metaphors of American football, replete with the linguistics of war, and declare it indicative of a warmongering psychosis?

Pasha Anwar
Naperville, Illinois

Re Allen Barra's article "Nil and Void": I'm a six-one, 195-pound "soccer nerd" who can run games on any basketball court, bench-press over my weight, and run five miles without passing out. I don't play soccer because I couldn't get picked for anything else. I do it because I like it. Why do all you bloated, pasty sportswriters need to give your two cents on the World Cup? Bring in some people who can discuss the sport intelligently. Until then, thank God for the Internet.

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