Your Letters

Volume four, Issue 25 | June 30 – July 6, 2004

Letter to the Editor

Unmasking bigotry

June 27, 2005

To the Editor:

I just read your article pertaining to the AVP meeting and I feel disgusted and angry with the response that Mr. Clarence Patton refers to from an elected official’s staff member who said, “If people live that lifestyle, then stuff can happen to them.” (“Pols Urged to Speak Against Violence,” by Andy Humm, June 23-29). People like that should not be working for us in any kind of form whatsoever.

What kind of lifestyle is this person speaking about? My son worked every day and he was very talented. He helped others in their time of need and he was very compassionate about life. This person should not be a part of our society in which human decency should is important. The statement that this person was making was about my son and anybody else’s child who loves whoever they decide to love. I wish I knew the person who made that statement. They need to be unmasked so that their family and co-workers as well would know what a bigot looks like.

Desire Brazell


The writer’s gay son, Rashawn Brazell, was brutally murdered in Brooklyn in February.

Keep the Heat on Bloomberg

June 25, 2005

To the Editor

It’s nice to see Mayor Bloomberg take out a full-page ad in your paper, but that is no reason to accept his claims and those of his supporters at face value in your news coverage (“Log Cabin Endorses Bloomberg,” by Mick Meenan, June 23-29).

While the article probes Bloomberg’s assertion of providing more AIDS funding in depth, it accepted uncritically the mayor’s record on same-sex marriage and did not note that the mayor has infuriated most LGBT leaders with his vetoes and court cases against the Equal Benefits Law for domestic partners of employees of city contractors and the Dignity for All Students Act to combat bullying in schools, including harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

You report Log Cabin president Patrick Guerreiro’s statement that Bloomberg was one of the “first elected officials of either political party to support marriage equality.” This is patently false. Bloomberg avoided making any statement in support of our right to marry until he decided to appeal Justice Doris Ling-Cohan’s ruling this year ordering the city to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In contrast, all the Democrats running for mayor—Freddy Ferrer, Virginia Fields, Anthony Weiner and Gifford Miller—have publicly supported opening marriage to gay couples since the issue was first raised in a very public way in 1996. Bloomberg didn’t even offer domestic partner benefits to his employees at Bloomberg, Inc. until about a year before he ran for mayor.

You also report Bloomberg saying he is “‘unwilling to take unlawful measures to achieve worthy goals,’ a reference to his February decision to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.” But Bloomberg was under absolutely no legal obligation to appeal Justice Ling-Cohan’s decision, a fact you failed to mention.

Bloomberg has a lot more to answer for on LGBT issues. He has attacked Comptroller Bill Thompson for using the City’s shareholder power to advance LGBT rights at the corporate level. He marches in the anti-gay St. Patrick’s Day Parade that most supporters of our rights have faithfully boycotted for more than a decade. He is continuing the unconscionable policy of the Giuliani administration banning AIDS educators from doing condom demonstrations in City classrooms even though that was an integral part of lessons in the past.

Finally, Mike Bloomberg is the single largest contributor to the anti-gay Republican Party in the world, from 2002 to the present. Bloomberg has directly helped elect scores of anti-gay members of Congress such as Mel Martinez in Florida.

New York’s LGBT community clearly cannot afford another four years of this mayor. It is incumbent on Gay City News not to let Bloomberg’s false claims for himself stand in any story, especially when he is trying to buy LGBT voters off with advertising.

Jon Winkleman

Board member, Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City


Remembering Anne Bancroft

June 16, 2005

Dear Editor:

In reading your remembrance of Anne Bancroft by Jerry Tallmer, I must say I guess I’m one of the six people left on earth who saw “The Pumpkin Eater.” (“A Miracle Worker Has Left Us,” June 9-15). Not only did I see it, but I was lucky enough to have met her socially several times because my brother produced several of her husband’s early films.

I recall, at the first meeting, in 1973, discussing “The Pumpkin Eater” as one of my favorites and that even though it garnered her an Academy Award nomination I thought her performance was still undervalued. I was surprised to find out she felt the same way. Mr. Tallmer, I hope, will be happy to hear this.

In any event, I think your readers might be interested to know that in her long career she had another role playing the mother of a gay son beyond the one illustrated with a photograph of her stereotypical turn as Harvey Fierstein’s Jewish mother in “Torch Song Trilogy.” Some years later, in a more sophisticated role, she played the mother of an out gay son, played by Robert Downey, Jr. in “Home For The Holidays,” directed by Jodi Foster. I think, in both cases, she nailed her character to perfection.

In the end, Anne Bancroft was a star but also a very gracious lady. I think part of the trick was that she took an interest in everybody and made you feel at ease—marquee name or not. Mr. Tallmer was right. We have all lost a star. A very gracious one at that!

Alan Hertzberg

Long Island City


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