By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Off-color comments: I'm grateful that you wrote on this subject. Not many people write about this sort of topic ("Tranny-Gate," The Bird, Stephen Lemons, December 28). And while I do not know the individuals involved, I would like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I believe that Tom Anderson has an obligation to protect the other female customers of his club, Anderson's Fifth Estate, from harassment. And I understand that Michele De Lafreniere may or may not be guilty of harassment. But the reason I am writing is that I found your language very abrasive.
For future reference, it's jarring to readers when you publish comments like: "Thing about it is, Rosa Parks just wanted to sit down. But De Lafreniere, she can likely still do her business standing up." And: "By the way, this filthy finch did ask to see De Lafreniere's naughty bits, but she refused." And: "Asked by this inquiring egret if she or any of her club buddies still has a tallywacker, De Lafreniere hissed, 'It doesn't matter. It says on my driver's license I'm female.'"
These questions are inappropriate and only bring your writing down. Asking them is a horribly offensive thing to do, and she was right to refuse you. I would hope that you regret asking her and will refrain from doing so in the future.
Lily Grendollyn, Phoenix
Stubble and schlong don't belong: Very funny article in The Bird on the brouhaha at Anderson's Fifth Estate. I'm sorry, but is there no sanity left in the world? Of course a guy with stubble and a schlong can't hang out in the women's restroom at a nightclub. Women are just going to feel weird about that! And why shouldn't they? Imagine seeing some bruiser in a dress next to you at the lavatory; it would just be scary.
Why don't these freaks get it? They aren't really women (in the sense that they look like men, even if they are in drag and feel they are girls trapped in male bodies). Any club owner who didn't respond to complaints from women about this would soon find himself without female patrons, and would soon be out of business.
I'm all for people having the right to live as they please, but if you don't have a vagina, you don't belong in the ladies' room. Pure and simple.
Bonnie Hoff, Phoenix
You really know how to scare a girl, um, guy, um, I dunno?: I don't think I've ever felt so sick from reading a news article as I was after reading "Tranny-Gate." The way you can be callous and bigoted toward trans people clearly not understanding that they are human beings and deserve the same respect as everyone else is mind-boggling.
I feel that free speech is one thing, but I feel that targeting a group of people with a slanted news article is not protected free speech, it's hate speech.
I just wanted you to know that I find your bigotry twisted, and I found your understanding of trans people about as ignorant as Jerry Falwell's would be. You should be fired, you should be sued, and you should never be allowed to work in a position where you write news articles.
You're homophobic, and even if you were trying to be funny, I don't think your sense of humor is appropriate for a news forum. Go to a KKK meeting, where you might just fit in. Also, in finishing, if you ever wrote anything about me the way you did about that woman, I would push for criminal charges, as well as a lawsuit large enough to ensure that you never live anywhere but a cardboard box!
Name withheld by request
Clueless in Scottsdale: It's a crazy world out there when chicks with dicks think they are welcome in the women's restroom. Come on, Ms. De Lafreniere, catch a clue! Nobody wants to see your hairy behind in the ladies' loo at Anderson's or at any other women's facility at a prevailingly hetero nightspot.
Susan Pace, via the Internet
Too cute for words: Oh, Bird! Tweet, tweet, geezaz! Thanks for the "Tranny-Gate" update! Light is the best disinfectant, and you, dear, are my new Sun King!
I know these particular guys-in-drag well, and none of them act very ladylike. Shaving face for saving grace in the girl perch when the genetic girls are trying to glam for their man is too uncool! I know Miss De Lafreniere, and she means well. But my advice would be to try the cherry phosphates at the Sugar Bowl for a while and leave the straight Snobsdale meatpackers alone!
I proudly and purposely got myself banned from the group-grope of this bunch, because none of 'em are for real and only have selfish and prurient interests, namely chicken-hawking new chickadees (as men tend to do). The truth hurts, but justice is tweet! Everyone knows that giving one's own self to "serving the community" means doing good and charitable works for the less fortunate. These guys at Transgender Harmony are all about Me, Myself and Myrene!
We Shocked the Sheriff
Violating our First Amendment rights: So now Joe Arpaio's persuaded some peckerwood county attorney's office to seek a criminal indictment against New Times for printing his home address on the Internet, when it was already published on the Internet in 100 places, including on the state Corporation Commission Web site ("Joe Strikes Back," The Bird, December 21)? The real reason he wants to go after your newspaper is NT writer John Dougherty's relentless pursuit of his foul deeds over the years.
I read in NT writer Stephen Lemons' blog, ("Feathered Bastard,"), how Sheriff Joe's now refusing to allow New Times journalists into press conferences at his office (which is paid for with tax dollars). Is it just me, or isn't it a violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to refuse any member of the press or the public entry to a news event by a public agency on property paid for by the public?
No, it's not just me. Of course it is!
What I don't understand is why all these county attorney's offices, and even the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix, can't find something criminal to indict Joe Arpaio on. Have they even tried? I doubt it! Look at all those people he's killed in his jails. Why isn't he in the slammer for violating the state public records law? What hypocrisy to go after New Times when this embarrassment to humanity is holding public office unscathed and unbowed after all he has done to make a mockery of justice.
The Pinal County Attorney's Office is just the latest prosecutors' outfit to be cowering in fear of Nickel Bag Joe. He was a joke when he was a U.S. drug agent (because he couldn't bust anybody except on little-bitty cases), and now he's a sick joke as sheriff.
Randy Gallegos, Phoenix
The facts back us: I stumbled across a copy of New Times in the newsroom of the Arizona Daily Wildcat at the University of Arizona, and the cover was simply gorgeous. Sheriff Joe's address in big letters, and someone had penned "boo-yah!" right next to it.
As a journalist and a student of journalism, the article that went with this cover which came in response to threats from Arpaio puts freedom of the press in context. I was more than impressed with the solid facts and explanation of Arpaio's questionable actions. It all fits so neatly.
A snitch, by any other name: After reviewing Paul Rubin's article "Hey Diddle Diddle" (December 14), I have concluded he is suffering from "Chronic Investigative Premature Ejaculation" syndrome. He writes articles without doing a full research of his topic. At no time did he contact me, my family, or any member of legal "Team Finkel" before publishing the false statements attributed to me by convicted pedophile James Stites.
It appears that Mr. Rubin is unable to complete an article unless first spoon-fed by a child predator, the cops, a county attorney, or from staffers at the Attorney General's Office. If Lois Lane had tried to pass the poorly investigated flapdoodle by Perry White, editor of the fictitious Daily Planet, he would have run her out of his office.
Stites was allowed to plead guilty to attempted molestation of a minor. Mr. Rubin failed to tell his readers what the original charges were against Stites when he was arrested this time. Yes, I shared a small cell with the reprobate while housed at Special Management Unit 1. I found him to be an unwashed, soiled, ignorant, antisocial, vulgar clod. He carried a persecution chip on his shoulder bigger than a pizza box. His grievance mentality made him so disagreeable that I barely talked to him. I certainly never discussed the facts of my trial with him, for I found him to be a "total waste of skin" as a human being. Stites demanded full access to all my electronics, prison store supplies and periodicals. He became belligerent when access was denied.
Why did Stites send false statements to Mr. Rubin, my wife and daughter? He sent my family members the same obscene letters after stealing their addresses while I slept. What did he hope to gain? Perhaps he felt he would get a reward from the Arizona Department of Corrections. Perhaps his delusional dreams included a quid pro quo from the Maricopa County Attorney.
I do know he has earned the title of "Rat Snitch Bastard" from my prison peers. The only thing he has earned is a big red target on his back! Prison snitches are not welcome on any of the Arizona Department of Corrections' yards. His false statements have put him in harm's way. He has nothing to fear from me. I cannot speak for any other group of prisoners. It would be in Stites' best interest if ADC kept him in protective segregation for the rest of his prison sentence.
I remain confident of vindication. I will be restored to family, friends and home.
Brian Finkel, Florence