To the Editor:

On Being Gay

Having moved from New Jersey to Delaware and now to Michigan, this former U.S. 1 freelance writer receives your paper via E-mail and is pleased to see your paper tackle difficult issues. Too often “homosexuality” is brushed aside, something that the general populace knows is there but chooses to ignore. Your articles portraying gays as normal people (U.S. 1., October 25) is refreshing because that is just what they are. They contribute to society through their jobs and social lives and pets. They are members of the society, just people with different sexual tendencies.

I was disappointed, but not entirely surprised, by the Barnes & Noble reaction. I have not read the book, “Paws and Reflect,” but the bookstore does have a corporation to answer to. Sensitivity (which in this case came off as negativity) to issues like homosexuality only perpetuates the idea that gay people must hide in some closet until they feel safe. That such a prominent face in the neighborhood would not do everything it could to reach out to this segment of the population is sad.

The idea that some churches would not be open to alternative lifestyles is perhaps more surprising. Churches are supposed to be safe havens for all people, not just “all straight people.” I’m sure Bible passages can support either side, offered by scholars more knowledgeable than I, but that is a discussion for another time, another place. I am a straight Catholic, but I support someone’s decision to practice that lifestyle. Supporting your neighbor: isn’t that what it’s all about?

I am pleased to see the serious issues rounded out with the “Paws and Reflect” story. And providing a guide to organizations offering social assistance is a useful and tidy conclusion to your roundtable of articles.

I do hope that this is not the end. Either in a review of the atmosphere one to two to three years from now or in continued, random articles, I hope U.S. 1 continues to address this pseudo-hidden, ignored world of homosexuality. Only when we can all discuss it openly can acceptance begin. Kudos to you!

Diana Wolf Hirsch

Re: Gays & Princeton

Thanks for the articles on being gay in Princeton in your October 25 issue. I have a concern about a statement made by Jon Weddell in the article written by Jean Cervi.

The article is about tolerance and acceptance, yet Mr. Weddell makes the statement that “the Princeton Wellness and Fitness Center is a good gym for social meetings but skip the YMCA as it is too Hispanic and family oriented.”

I am offended by this comment regarding Hispanics. What is it that he holds against Hispanics and families? It was an unfortunate comment in an otherwise sensible article.

Further, I happen to use the YMCA and have several friends with whom I have coffee after a swim, both gay and straight.

Ken Raybuck

Fair Acres Court, Princeton

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