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Hundreds of officers were dispatched to control the cruisers. Where were these officers in regard to the real crime taking place that night in Denver? With all the attention focused on the young celebrants, the effectiveness of police protection in other areas of the city was compromised.

It is imperative to realize that the so-called outrageous behavior displayed was nothing more than a celebration of culture and independence as well as liberty and identity. Please recognize that, for once, this is a communal celebration including youth from all parts of Denver. Cinco de Mayo is one of the only days that even the youth from rival gangs can find a common ground.

Why is it so hideous to display pride and joy on this particular day and not on the Fourth of July? Isn't it on the Fourth of July that America holds the privilege of freedom in high regard? We ask: Is it justifiable to suffocate the healthy identity of our youth? One might infer that this suffocation is in fact contributory to the racism that infects our community.

The youth of Denver are growing outside of the confines and regulations that Denver has set forth. Before a firm stance is taken on the cruising dilemma, it is important to take into consideration what exactly the city has to offer socially for the young adults of today. We propose that we lift the house-arrest-for-kids notion and provide open parks for the kids to socialize in, even if these parks are patrolled. As a result, youth would not be forced into the streets for a social atmosphere. This would also reduce traffic hindrances. Kids should not be the epitome of blame any more than the people who create the environment for them to interact in.

Christine Pino
Jory Minkler
Denver

A Dressing Down
It amazes me when I hear stories like the one involving Terry ("Disturbing the Piss," May 9). Didn't the hotel bother to inform their security people of just who was paying the bills that evening? Did Barney Fife forget to take his Midol? Thank God Andy didn't give him his bullet!

It's so very sad that people fail to realize just how harmless transvestites and transsexuals are. We don't cruise around in elaborately equipped vans in search of straight men to put into evening drag and later release in LoDo to be condemned to a life of cross-dressing and gender dysphoria. It simply doesn't work that way.

Thirty-five years ago my parents discovered my secret. At that point in time I had been cross-dressing in private for at least eight years. (I'm 47.) I was punished, counseled and examined, but the desire never wavered. Twenty-five years ago I started to read everything I could on transvestites and transsexuals, and therefore consider myself to be something of an authority on the matter. If you are a transvestite or transsexual or if you know someone who is or might be a transvestite or transsexual, there are some facts that you need to know:

1. Forget changing--accept it. It's not going to go away, so you had best learn how to deal with it. Denial can lead to depression and even suicide.

2. The behavior wasn't learned and it wasn't forced. We're this way certainly by the age of three and possibly since birth.

3. Most transvestites/transsexuals are heterosexual and quite normal in all other regards.

4. If counseling is necessary, be sure that you deal with someone who is schooled in the behavior. Most psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors are not. And some yutz who doesn't know a transsexual from a drag queen (yes, there is a difference) might do more harm than good.

This lifelong quest has taught me so very much: tolerance, patience and acceptance. Knowledge is power and it is also freedom from fear.

Name withheld on request

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number.

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Westword
PO Box 5970
Denver, CO 80217
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