Letters

Letters from the week of September 4, 2003

You have thrown into your arguments a reminder of the grisly murder of the young gay man by three homophobic young men in Wyoming. What I have to say to you is that my 18-year-old son was raped and nearly murdered in a Utah city jail by a homosexual ex-convict years ago. My son had been picked up for drunken driving and was put into an open cell and left. He was tortured for five hours, forced to perform fellatio, and raped. The man's partner kept urging him to be careful not to kill him when it was necessary to choke him to make him do something. The cops came back and my son screamed to them what was happening. They left, and he expected his enraged attacker to kill him. But the cops finally decided to act on what they had heard, took him to the hospital, and discovered he had been raped. The choke marks were visible on his throat. The rapist was charged, and my son agreed to testify in a publicized trial. The offender was sentenced to five years in the Utah state prison.

I urged my son to write a play about this event, but he could not bring himself to do so for many years. Three years ago he finally wrote a play, Blue Baby, which covered the rape. The play ran for five weeks at the Metro Art Institute. Kyle Lawson, theater critic from the Arizona Republic, avoided seeing it altogether. He seemed to think that the review of a young relief Republic writer would suffice. His review was acceptable, but if Kyle Lawson did not see the play or support it, there would be no real recognition of its merit in the Arizona Republic. Kyle did not mention what the play was about in an advance publicity article, nor did the young reviewer mention that it covered the rape of a young man by a homosexual. Your theater critic, Robrt Pela, failed to see it.

In the fall of 2002, my son staged another production of Blue Baby, hoping that this time around he would get financial support to take the play to Los Angeles or New York. Kyle Lawson again did not see Blue Baby. Nor did Robrt Pela. As a result, my son closed the play after two weeks. He is still waiting for financial support to take it to Los Angeles, where he is hoping he will receive more interest from the press.

In the meantime, a prominent gay director here staged The Laramie Project about the murder of the young gay in Wyoming. Kyle Lawson gave his production ample publicity, reviewed it, and gave it end-of-the-year theater honors. Robrt Pela also lauded it as a very superior production.

My son went through grade school and high school here, and has attended every college in the Valley. He is an Arizonan through and through. So why has he been slighted by the critics instead of praised for the guts to write about what happened to him? Is it because he is straight? You stand for guts. So you need to know how the press in Arizona covered Blue Baby.

Geraldine King (Hitt)
Phoenix

Coupling: Homosexuality is abnormal, unnatural and definitely perverse ("Here Come the Grooms," Robrt L. Pela, August 21). To honor such perversity by allowing such "partners" to "marry" is sickening. But such is the way things are going nowadays. God have mercy on us!

Marc V. Ridenour
Via e-mail

Family values: First let me say that if I could take back my vote, I would. I cast my vote for Terry Goddard in hopes that he would help the GLBT community to obtain the same rights and equality as our heterosexual counterparts. From his recent actions concerning the suit of Don Standhardt and Tod Keltner, in their quest for a marriage license, he has tipped his hat and shown me his true intentions toward us. The fact that he would mention how safe family values are in his hands tells me that he has no respect for my family. While he speaks of equality and fair treatment, his actions show that it is only lip service. Perhaps all of the gay couples in Arizona should likewise file suit. I will be discussing it with my partner. I personally am tired of being told my partner and I of 11 years are not worthy of marriage. That we are somehow subhuman and beneath the majority and undeserving of the same protections as other families. As a gay man, I have put up with being belittled and denied fair treatment simply because of my sexual orientation. If it were a choice, I would be straight, but that is not possible.

Therefore, I am telling you that I will no longer settle for sloppy seconds and scraps thrown from the political table. Partner registries and civil unions are just that. I am disappointed with Goddard's reaction and the reaction of those who work for him. This letter is harsh because I believed he would help, and once again I have been disappointed. So from this point forward, the members of the GLBT community should take their fate into their own hands and stop relying on people like Terry Goddard for help.

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