Letters to the editor
Don't forget straight children could use support
Editor, The Times:
It was with much personal interest that I read your article on how children are affected when either both or one of their parents is gay or lesbian ("When parents are gay," Times, Aug. 9). I well understood how many of the parents interviewed feel as I, too, am a gay parent, having come out later in life to my wife and son.
My son was a junior at Garfield High School when it came time for me to come out to him. As his mother and I sat down one evening to tell him I was gay, he told us that he had already figured it out and discussed it with his circle of friends. He remarked that he knew many gay and lesbian kids and that there was a gay and lesbian student support program at Garfield.
In schools across America, gay and lesbian student associations and gay-straight student alliances are beginning to organize. These groups serve and support gay and lesbian students. We should not forget, however, that they also serve the needs of the straight children of gay or lesbian parents by creating an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion.
- Chuck Santon, president, Gay Fathers Association of Seattle
On top of the world
I found out my dad was gay in the early '70s. I experienced much of what was described in the article: the social stigma, the secrecy, the fear of telling friends. Every time I told people when I was younger, it was a challenge. As times changed, it became easier, although sometimes, even now, I take a deep breath when I say I grew up with a gay father.
My most empowering action came some years ago. A woman sitting next to me at a potluck said all gays should burn in hell. I told her that what she was saying was offensive to me, I had a gay dad I loved, and wanted her to stop. Everyone at the table was stunned. I felt on top of the world for speaking out. I only wish I could have done this earlier, to feel my own sense of self-worth and empowerment that has stayed with me since then.
I have become an advocate for oppressed children and adults in a career I love. I attribute this to growing up with a gay parent. I am a better person because of him. I am grateful that my father lived long enough that I could tell him this, and thank him.
- Lauren Naismith, Seattle
South Seattle rampage
Suffer the children
There are a few things about this story I just don't understand ("10-day drug binge led to deadly rampage," Times, Aug. 15). I realize the media simply can't report every fact, so correct me if I'm wrong: Ten days of smoking a dangerous hallucinogen and having a .45-caliber handgun while displaying violent mood swings; those who knew did nothing about it; two children left in an apartment while their guardians or whoever were caring for them went to a party next door.
When shooting started, the children were simply left to defend themselves. Now two are dead, one who will be scarred for life, and many police officers will forever live with those visions burned in their head.
In this environment, do children have much of a chance? You cannot expect someone with no life value to have any value of life.
- Phillip Thomas, Seattle
No headline here
On Monday night, the breaking news was the shooting of a black man by police at Rainier and 51st. And even though TV news made clear that this man had already killed or injured three other people, they found an onlooker to verbalize the headline "another black man shot by Seattle police."
What didn't make the news was a similar incident that same evening at University and First. At the height of rush hour, a black man was freaking out, yelling, jumping around on the sidewalk and darting in and out of traffic. As the police began to show up, they took no action other than to try to calm the man down and keep him out of the street even though he kept jumping, yelling and occasionally lunging at them. They had no idea what they were facing.
Being across from the Seattle Art Museum, this could have just been one of those so-called performance artists plying his trade. And although apparently unarmed, he was well-dressed in the baggy clothing of today's urban chic, which could easily have concealed a weapon. No, the police just stood their ground for half an hour and radioed for someone with a non-lethal tazer. When that officer arrived, it was over within seconds. The man was tazed, restrained, and checked out by paramedics before being wheeled away on a gurney.
I wish I had had my video camera because scenes like this never make the news. Yet, it was a textbook display of how we want our police to behave — and proof that they don't use lethal force when not confronted by it.
But the headline "Seattle police save black man from being hit by traffic" will never be heard. Only those officers, a few onlookers and one black man who is still with us today know what happened. When that man comes down from whatever, I'll bet he thanks those officers. Too bad the rest of us can't see that scene.
- Jay Jiudice, Seattle
Losing face value
Good for you on the article about the Mariners' scalping practices! ("Mariners run Web site for scalping season tickets," Times, Aug. 15.) I was just about to write a letter regarding the Mariners' ticket-scalping site (also known as "Ticket Marketplace") because I was appalled at the double standard the Mariners are applying to their fans. While it is illegal for fans to resell tickets, the Mariners can.
This wouldn't be such a blatant situation if the city hadn't started a crackdown on scalping recently.
When I recently logged on to the Mariners' site looking for an option for season ticket holders to resell their tickets, I was surprised to see the prices they were going for. Isn't it illegal for them to resell tickets for higher prices? Other sports teams also have options to resell season tickets, but are kind enough not to gouge the fan.
The only reason the Mariners openly flout the law is to do what other ticket scalpers have been doing for years: make a buck.
What makes the M's any better than the regular Joe holding two tickets on Occidental?
- Emmett O'Connell, Olympia
To err is saintly
Regarding Louis Christen's letter "A saint's belief" (Letters to the editor, Aug. 12): So what — St. Thomas Aquinas implied that the soul was implanted 44 to 88 days after conception. He also stated that a female's soul took twice as long to be implanted, hence the 44 to 88 day figure; and that she also had one tooth less than a male.
St. Thomas was a brilliant (not infallible) but nevertheless speculating theologian and by no means had the authority of pronouncing his own theory as official Church teachings.
Christen implies that the Vatican has now overruled St. Thomas' 13th-century theory. St. Thomas Aquinas was never in a position to rule, so how could the Vatican now overrule him on a theory that was never accepted by the Church to start with?
Christen is mistaken if he believes that being declared a saint by the Catholic Church means a person was perfect in all ways. If that were the case, we would not have any saints.
- Lee Cox, Seattle