Ex Marks the Spat
Regarding Ward Harkavy's "Fact or Friction?" in the October 1 issue:
The very idea that gays come from bad families, smothering mothers, etc., is absurd, to say the least. I know many gays, including myself, who come from very loving families where "the lifestyle" was never even talked about, let alone encouraged. I have also seen firsthand the damage these ex-gay groups do to people and how they mentally scar them, sometimes for life. When these ex-gays get over their own self-loathing and depression, maybe they will atone for all the damage and deaths they have caused to people who have heard their message--along with the message of hate that society in general sends--and commit suicide. But, no, they will continue to live along the banks of the river of denial.

Keith Privette
via the Internet

Of course, I knew before I even read "Fact or Friction?" that you would make light of John Paulk's conversion. That is fine with me. What I don't really get is why people generally accept the fact that a person who has lived his life as straight--and even thought that he was straight until one day he discovered that he was really gay--is legit, but when a person has lived his life as gay and even thought that he was gay until one day he discovered that he was really straight after all, people laugh and say, "Right" or "Sure he is." Come on--you cannot have it both ways. If someone who is straight can become gay, why can't someone who is gay become straight?

Of course, then there will be those who will say that the "straight" person who became gay was really gay all along. So it should only follow that the person who was "gay" and became straight wasn't ever really gay but was straight all along. Let's have some consistency, people (I'm addressing the gay community here), on your thoughts about this subject.

Jesse Davis

I feel "Fact or Friction?" badly misrepresented Where Grace Abounds in Denver. First off, I am a 37-year-old female who is a born-again Christian and gay. When I was fourteen years old, my mom passed away; less than six months later, I realized that I was attracted to other girls. Whether it was the loss of the most important female in my life that influenced my subconscious or not, I do not know. What I do know is that when I became a Christian at 26 years old, I knew I was not going to be able to have those desires fulfilled the way I wished them to be. When I moved to Denver in 1992 and heard of WGA, it was such an eye-opener, a real heartwarmer, to have a group of people in the same exact boat as me--people who were first and foremost followers of Christ, who just happened to be struggling with desires outside of God's will and felt real uncomfortable with it all. That definition fits all Christians.

In 1992, the Amendment 2 debate was going on while I was trying to find a home church out here. I saw and heard such bigotry from the pulpits that I was scarred and hurt. I heard such knee-jerk reactions from the gay extremist groups that I was hurt even more. Then I stumbled upon a place like WGA, which does not brainwash or even attempt in the most minute way to get you to change your lifestyle. It is there as a safe haven for people like me to congregate and befriend each other in getting from point A to point B (point A being this life and point B being eternity with Jesus). From the first time I walked in there and heard their "agenda," I felt like I finally had a group of Christians who wouldn't feel weird around me, that I wouldn't have to pretend with or try to evade questions about why I have never had a boyfriend! I even told them straight out that I don't ever want to be heterosexual--I desire to just not have sexual desires at all; I don't want or need the headaches. That is not their purpose as a ministry. They didn't even ask for that info; I just felt like telling them.

I dig men big-time, just not in the sexual sense. I can honestly say that 90 percent of the female population doesn't attract me sexually, either, but the 10 percent left over is enough to severely draw me astray. But the Lord is Almighty, and He will bring me through this. I am firmly convinced that I will go to my grave with this "sexual orientation." I don't doubt that many can be transformed to opening up to the opposite sex in the area where they were formerly repulsed, but I'm not so sure the other desires vaporize, either. Perhaps it's not for us to judge.

The extreme "religious" right and the extreme gay left ultimately make me quite sick. Plus, if the group Evangelicals Reconciled was accurately portrayed in the article (after seeing the disastrous job you did to WGA, I certainly can't be sure), I think they are being divisive and trying to put dissension between us and them--and even within other ministries--that just doesn't belong.

Name withheld on request

Why does everyone (heterosexuals, liberals, conservatives, gays, ex-gays, ex-ex-gays) continue to stereotype? Just because some "former" gays feel that they have changed doesn't necessarily mean all gays should change. But to look at the other side, just because many homosexuals couldn't change doesn't mean that no one can. Whether homosexuality is genetic or not is irrelevant to the issue of whether change is possible. Besides, it could vary from one person to another.

Engaging in homosexual behavior does not make someone gay. "Sleeping in a garage doesn't make you an automobile," as Stan, one "ex-ex-gay" puts it, referring to John Paulk, an ex-gay who became married in a straight relationship. But just because being gay is okay for Stan doesn't mean that Paulk is "in denial." And why is Paulk accused of gay-bashing? If someone wants to change, should they be prevented from trying? Should controlling your own sexual behavior, gay or straight, be referred to as repression? As to whether God absolutely condemns homosexuality, I don't think anyone can claim to know. But in truly seeking a personal relationship with God, we can find out for ourselves. God deals with each person as an individual. Why can't we?

Anna Williams

Spin the Battle
I appreciated Patricia Calhoun's "The Spin Crowd," in the October 1 issue, about the Ramsey case. I hope the media keeps up the pressure, for it is all the rest of us have to remind the killer that we still care very much and hope the killer will be put behind bars. Keep up the good work. Never let them think the world has forgotten this child.

Bonnie Kuntz
via the Internet

Papa Bear does it again! John Ramsey predictably waved his powerful greenbacks under American noses, and the only thing he can't seem to purchase with his millions is his little girl's murderer. Even an armchair sleuth who never left his own living room could have predicted the belated and frenzied $100,000 offer Ramsey made as a way to express his concern over the death of the little beauty queen who lies restlessly in the heart of all Americans who care about accountability and justice. Ramsey stands waving his tainted money like a frantic flagman on a well-traveled highway, hoping to distract the honest mind from the suspicion he and Patsy have brought upon themselves in the death of their own child.

John Ramsey is as predictable as a serial killer, as frantic as an old maid wishing for marriage and as ridiculous as the last entry on Candid Camera. How strange it is that these appearances and writings come each time the noose of justice seems to be tightening around John Ramsey's scrawny neck. Come on, grand jury. In the name of justice for JonBenet, indict this man and fire DA Hunter, whose relationship to the Ramsey camp puts all of America to shame. If the Ramseys are really interested in finding the murderer of that little girl, I suggest they stop waving the green flag and look in the mirror!

Mary J. Kellar
via the Internet

I started researching this case on the Internet, thinking that the Ramseys were guilty--yet as I read, I saw a pattern. The myths of their guilt were overturned by later facts. "All the doors and windows were locked"--a later report showed six windows and a kitchen door unlocked. "Ramsey's bonus was the same as the ransom figure"--it wasn't. "The SBTC referred to Ramsey's service at Subic Bay"--the Pentagon says there was no SBTC. "There were no footprints in the snow around the house"--the driveway had been cleared so JonBenet could ride her bike. As each leaked "fact" was cleared, though, nobody in the press declared, "Well, we made an error on that." The public was convinced by the previous errors, and innocence was thrown out the window by tabloid-driven myths.

As an ex-investigator, I can tell you that if you follow a spurious theory, it blinds you to a trail of facts. For example, who brought duct tape and a rope into the house? Who left a "hi-tech" boot print in the basement? Who wrote a red-herring note that the Secret Service says Patsy didn't write? Who left a pubic hair on the blanket? These unknown answers are the key to finding the killer--not a witch-hunt based on myths.

Grant Stauffer
Kansas City

Patricia Calhoun's "The Spin Crowd" was a great article. But she should have included Juliet Wittman's "He Aims to Plea," the September 24 Westword piece on Hunter, in her timeline.

Name withheld on request

Overdue Bill
Zorro strikes again! I recently sent your third hate article about Bill Owens (Ward Harkavy's "Collect Calls," September 17) to his office. Owens recently sent me a message of thanks, dated September 24, which said, "I just wanted to drop you a note and thank you for sending me the clip from Westword. I appreciate your keeping me informed. Best wishes for your health and continued success. Best regards, Bill." You'll have your day of accountability with him when he becomes governor of Colorado!

"Z" marks the spot! The mark of Zorro!
John Bales

Follow the Leader
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Speaking From Experience," in the September 17 issue:

Thanks to Calhoun for reminding us that Romer and Clinton are two peas in a pod. Perhaps Colorado's governor is the right person to defend the president after all: He knows all about "inappropriate" relationships.

Jerry Foster
via the Internet

Patricia Calhoun, I can't begin to count the amount of times I've stood up for you and your editorials. The last recognizable Denver paper that seeks truth and justice rather than catering to the sensational and innocuous, I would proudly boast. David Brock confessed and told the American people it was an experiment to see if they could bring down the president. I honestly didn't expect the bigger news organizations to give up their gravy train, but I expected more from you. Clinton lied about consensual sex with Monica--no question--but what happened to Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, etc.? David Brock also forewarned that this Machiavellian tactic would ensnare others. How true. Six Republicans, two Democrats and more to come. I wonder how many other politicians would have come forward if they were not forced to by the sex police.

Patricia Calhoun, does it matter to you if we have let rape and sexual harassment become trivialized for money and politics? The Republicans and Starr are abusing judicial power for a 24-year-old vendetta and insidiously disguising it as truth and justice.

Mike Claxton

I remember the press and media jumping all over the Republican candidate for vice president for blunders in spelling and English usage.

Now President Clinton doesn't seem to understand words a child in grade school understands very well, such as is, alone, sex, lie and oath. Do you really want the mentally challenged to be in one of the most powerful positions in the world? I don't.

Frank Galmish

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. Write to:

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or e-mail (include your full name and hometown) to: editorial@westword.com.

Missed a story? The entire editorial contents of Westword, dating back to July 1, 1996, are available online at www.westword.com/archive/index.html.


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