To the editors:
I read your piece on the moonlighting theater critic for Chicago's two gay papers [Hot Type, May 10] and was left reeling. In that piece a spokesperson for Outlines stated that many of their writers use pseudonyms when writing to protect their identities. There is only one problem--Outlines is one of the most notorious "outting" publications in the gay press. "Outting" began as a way to force politically incorrect politicians (as defined by the outter) into either coming out of the closet or supporting Gay Rights. It quickly further degenerated into tattle telling on celebrities. Many fear it will soon turn on the public as well. Outlines is regularly quoted in tabloids as a source for info on movie stars' sex lives, often with little more proof than the victim's name mentioned at a march or being seen at a gay bar.
I cannot believe that this self-appointed gang of informers masks the identity of any writer for any reason.
The politically correct movement which grew from the far left gay and lesbian movement has only been criticized from the right as it enters the college campuses--but actually I insist that it is based on a false sense of virtue and is a danger to free expression and private lives. I urge professors to look long and hard at what this movement has done to the credibility of the gay press.
Don't get me wrong. I worked on the first panel that set up the Gay Chicago Film Fest (now a yearly event), wrote reviews for Chicago's Gay Life. When I found out that beautiful female models were going to the Bistro to avoid being hassled by guys I immediately made a beeline to the bar. Sure enough, they were there and after a couple of drinks I was the only person interested in asking them to dance, etc. These are my fondest memories of the early disco scene. "Rock the Boat" was a good song damn it! Yet I could be "outted" just because I went to the bar!
A friend of mine, recovering from a really bad bust up decided to go to a local lesbian bar to try her hand and curiosity with a woman. She went around the block a few times, as nervous as a guy buying his first rubber. Going up to the bar and ordering a beer, she was approached by a woman dressed as Michelle Shocked, who dumped a beer over her head and told her "Never to wear makeup again." That lesson in being politically correct was the end of my friend's experimentation.
The overwhelming majority of gays and lesbians do not march, do not go to bars, do not call each other Mary, etc. Outlines's policy is stupid and unfair to them.