To the editors:
It must be that letters like Jim Beebe's (October 17) get into print merely to show the ignorance under which some people operate. He writes, "On the eve of the 'Gay Rights' vote, a homosexual school principal was arrested in a Chicago motel with one of his students. This sort of behavior may be admired and even encouraged in the 'Gay' world but it is despised and unlawful everywhere else."
From the context of the letter, it's clear that Mr. Beebe doesn't mean what his words say -- that the behavior admired by the "Gay" world and despised everywhere else is the arrest of an adult having relations with a minor. No, he wouldn't give gays that much credit. His "This sort of behavior" was, I think, supposed to refer to the principal's actions. Regardless of what traits he' applies to homosexuals, then all others, does Mr. Beebe really believe that he can divide people according to sexuality and then put black hats on one sector and white on the other? (Let me here insert a segment of "A Conservative States the Case for Gay Rights" by John Woolman, an article I recommend everyone read, found in the New Republic, September 12, 1986: "All of the evidence is that most child molestation is heterosexual .... The overwhelming majority of homosexuals disapprove of pedophilia.") Is Mr. Beebe so comfortable on his simplistic high horse that he can make judgments on the "Gay" world without evincing any knowledge about it except that it's different from his world"?
He writes, "A health official declared that over half of San Francisco's homosexuals have .AIDS. No figures on Chicago but that statement sent alarm around the country. Because of the extreme promiscuity of the 'Gay Lifestyle' we can assume that all homosexuals have been exposed to AIDS."
My first question is, Which health official? I'd love to know the name of the person who'd take credit for such a statement. Although I've read that a similar percentile of homosexuals in San Francisco has been exposed to the AIDS virus, that's a different story since it is believed that only 5 to 20 percent of those exposed to the virus come down with AIDS. Mr. Beebe does make the distinction between being exposed to AIDS and having it. Unless he cites a source for his extreme statement, he must claim responsibility for it.
But the worse transgression Mr. Beebe makes is his non sequitur that all homosexuals have been exposed to AIDS. And how's that, because of the extreme promiscuity of the "Gay Lifestyle"? Why is it that a person so removed from gays as to put them inside quotation marks, believes that he knows anything about gays or about such a concept as the gay lifestyle?
Mr. Beebe, you are way off in your assumption. In fact, I know a gay man who just had a blood test last week and was found to have no trace of AIDS. I know of many gay men who have been in monogamous relationships for years. And I'm sure that there are homosexual (Webster's definition: "of or characterized by a sexual desire [my emphasis] for those of the same sex as oneself) individuals who have never had sex and therefore cannot, as a result of their homosexuality, possibly have been exposed to AIDS.
The truth is that there are facts that belie almost every assertion made by Mr. Beebe. Still, gays have to listen to and then refute these unwarranted accusations and ridiculous assumptions that are nothing but products of bigotry and overactive ignorance. Well, people should know that Gay Rights is not just an emotional issue anymore.
And "Gay Rights" as an issue, though Mr. Beebe asserts otherwise (he says that the issue now is containment Of homosexuals), is not dead. It is just beginning to flower. More and more gays are becoming political because it is necessary if each of us wants to achieve and/or maintain his or her integrity. Gays are individuals who happen to be of a different sexuality than the vast majority of individuals. Beyond that, each person is a complex, multifaceted being, with more than sexuality constituting his or her identity. People like Mr. Beebe who divide the population into two simple sectors, implying that they are two totally opposite, and -,even opposing, forces, serve only to categorize--and therefore dehumanize -- not just gays, but everyone.