LOVIN' ON LEWIS
JONATHAN ZWICKEL: Thanks so much for the great article on Blake Lewis ["American Ideal," June 21]. I have met him a couple times and he has always been a very down-to-earth, genuine guy and I am hoping the best for him. I am so afraid of someone out there, mainly reporters and music writers, putting him down. I think he is a great guy and extremely talented. He deserves some praise! Thanks again for the refreshing view of a genuine, unassuming star (who just happened to be on TV!).
HISTORY AND HERSTORY
EDITOR: Wow. I didn't think it could be done, but you pulled it off. You published a 17-page Comprehensive and Unabridged Guide to Queer History, from Which Lesbians Were Almost Entirely Absent. You're right, you know—there's no excuse for queers not knowing our own history. I suggest that you ignorant faggots down at The Stranger get to work on that right away.
MORE GAY MILESTONES
THE STRANGER: Your historical memory of the gay culture ["Homo History," June 21] is missing something very important: Charlie Royer was mayor [of Seattle] and the city passed a law making it illegal to use "sexual orientation" as a factor in limiting employment, hiring, renting residential space, and such.
Many thousands danced in the streets—a wonderful moment in the history of our city, but unfortunately ignored by your writers.
STRANGER: I liked your "Homo History" piece, especially all the examples of gay couples through the ages. However, you did miss one big example: I'm talking about one of Rome's most notorious bisexuals, Julius Caesar. How bisexual was he? He was widely considered "every woman's husband, and every man's wife."
EDITOR: You forgot Bohemian Grove—what Richard Nixon referred to as the "most goddamn faggy thing" he'd ever seen.
EDITOR: How dare you call your gay special a "comprehensive, unabridged, and completely indispensable guide" to gay history. You left out the history of the Dyke March, which was a significant development in the queer community since the National March on Washington in 1992. It was created to overcome lesbian invisibility and yet again, 15 years after the first Dyke March, our history remains invisible.
One of the original Dyke March organizers
YOUR OWN LITTLE JIHAD
EDITOR: It's a little troubling that a self-proclaimed progressive newspaper like The Stranger would even consider publishing Bruce Bawer's borderline hysterical rants against Muslims ["Homo History: 2001, Islamic Terrorism," June 21]. Interestingly when Bawer claims that Muslims are out to get him because he's gay, and warns of an upcoming holocaust if they have their way, he conveniently glosses over the fact that nowadays it's way more acceptable to be gay in America than it is to be Muslim. Case in point: How many Muslims are imprisoned at Guantánamo? How many gay people are imprisoned in Guantánamo? Bawer should remember that hating a group for its religion is the same as hating a group for its sexual orientation, and that he may have more in common with Fred Phelps than the overwhelming majority of Muslims do.
BRUCE BAWER RESPONDS: Homosexuality is a capital crime in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and several other Muslim countries. Since Iran's Islamic revolution, that country has executed more than 4,000 people for homosexual acts. These punishments are grounded in sharia law—which, according to a 2006 Daily Telegraph survey, 40 percent of Britain's Muslims want to see enacted in the UK.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, perhaps the planet's most popular Islamic scholar (his weekly show on Al Jazeera is watched by millions worldwide), has expressed sympathy for the view that the death penalty for gays is a legitimate way "to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements."
As Muslims gain numbers and power in Europe, conditions for gays are palpably worsening. Two years ago the leading Dutch gay-rights group admitted that Muslim-perpetrated gay-bashing had changed Amsterdam's once-free atmosphere: "Gays and lesbians are less willing to walk hand-in-hand because they might be beaten up." This is a growing crisis across Europe.
For some people, alas, being liberal means not facing such facts but closing one's eyes to them in the name of multicultural respect and harmony. Better to keep crying "Guantánamo" than to acknowledge uncomfortable realities that might oblige you to rethink your worldview.
Note to A. Gouirand: If you can stand a look in the mirror, read What’s Left: How Liberals Lost their Way, in which British socialist Nick Cohen brilliantly anatomizes the mindset you’ve plainly bought into. Maybe there’s hope.