Get My Kicks
Regarding Richard Goldstein's article "Mr. Natural" [October 26] and the supposed gay threat to masculinity: I don't get it. I don't like football, but I kickbox. I can be rabidly (and rapidly) heterosexual when the occasion demands. I also cook, can take care of plants, and, when prodded by my partner, clean the house.
My masculinity has always been defined by a far deeper sense of myself than by any role society demands of me. Stiffed by society? Nah, I just don't have to put up with some asshole jock's idea of what being a man is.
Princeton, New Jersey
I loved Richard Goldstein's article about masculinity and female boxing. I couldn't agree more that the male domain is increasingly getting invaded, and that it is creating not just an emotional but a self-worth crisis for those men sensitive enough to pick up on it.
I am a woman in the body of a man, just like my father, and I don't know how to deal with it. What American woman in the mold of traditional femininity and power politics would want to spend time with me?
That's why I've turned to the gay community. Perhaps a man who is sexually attracted to me will be capable of loving me, even though sex with a man isn't what I naturally prefer. Aside from that, I've only got three options: bond with a dominating mother-figure of a girl, have a sex change and date lesbians, or take a bunch of hormones and fuck guys.
Tristan Taormino's October 5 Pucker Up column was quite insightful. As a bisexual female, I've found it oddly uncomfortable to be in the company of overtly butch women. Taormino's column caused me to take a step back and reconsider my perception of them. I've always said I liked tomboys-who knows, maybe deepdown I desire a woman with wingtips and a buzzcut (girls who swagger always did appeal to me).
As the director of the New York City AIDS Housing Network-the city's largest coalition of nonprofit housing providers, AIDS service organizations, and homeless and formerly homeless people living with HIV and AIDS-I am writing to commend J.A. Lobbia's reporting in the article "Unwelcome Mat", documenting rule changes that the New York City Housing Authority has proposed, allowing higher-incomeindividuals to take priority over truly low-
incomeindividuals and families.
This proposal is just one more way that Mayor Giuliani has attempted to make New York City unlivable for poor people, instead of ensuring that there are fewer people living in poverty. Currently the mayor has released four initiatives to try to dismantle the current system of housing poor people living with HIV and AIDS in New York City. Through alterations in the programs, he has attempted to change the city's scatter-site housing program to a housing-placement program that is comparable to replacing actual apartments with just a real estate agency.
This will lead to the eviction of nearly 1600 people living with HIV and AIDS within the next year. Unfortunately, the mayor realizes that this real estate market brings in big money, while poor people living in that real estate don't. Until the Department of Housing and Urban Development takes proactive steps to limit rent increases and develop more truly affordable housing-not "affordable" for rich people-or until Mayor Giuliani gets a strong message from the public that providing decent, quality housing for all New Yorkers is the voters' number-one priority, we will only see a further commitment to the dismantling of housing for the poor.
Cynthia Cotts's theory that the National Immunization Information Network represents a convergence between public health and profits [Press Clips, October 19] would be more credible if Johnson & Johnson actually made and sold vaccines. It doesn't. Nor do any of its subsidiaries.
Furthermore, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is not "the philanthropic arm of Johnson & Johnson." The Foundation is a private philanthropy with its own endowment and board; it is not a corporate philanthropy. One phone call would have determined that.
Finally, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has never provided a state with a financial reward for setting up a mandatory vaccine program. That could have been determined during the call referred to in the previous paragraph.
Paul Tarini, Communications Officer
Princeton, New Jersey
Cynthia Cotts replies: I made it clear that Johnson & Johnson does not sell vaccines. According to the Web site of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Foundation "initiated the All Kids Count program in 1991," which "partners with the National Immunization Program of the Centers for Disease Control," and, as of 1998, had "provided more than $16 million of support to state and local health agencies to develop systems to track immunization information." These vaccine registries enable the implementation of a mandatory vaccination program as set out by the CDC. While the Foundation may have purely altruistic reasons for supporting universal immunization, the program offers other pharmaceutical companies vast opportunities for profit.
Re: Andy Humm's " Out of the White House Closet" [October 19]: Gay voters (and others) have the Libertarian Party as an alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. A gay man and marine veteran, Gary Hines, is seeking the 2000 Libertarian presidential nomination. The Libertarian Party has called for the repeal of laws against voluntary homosexual and heterosexual behavior since its very first platform. Gay Libertarians have formed the Gays & Lesbians for Individual Liberty, and Libertarians for Gay & Lesbian Concerns. The Libertarian Party says to gays and lesbians, "Come out as Libertarians too!"
Richard A. Cooper
Media Director, Libertarian Party of New York
Westbury, New York
The caption for a photo of David Goldman, the founder of Hatewatch.org, which ran with Donna Ladd's article "Adventures in Bigotry" in last week's issue was misstated. Goldman does not seek "to rid the Internet of...hate." As the article stated, Goldman seeks to use the Internet to educate about hate groups.
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