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WORDS, WORDS, WORDS

For many years throughout the local Gay community, I've listened to a variety of communication, some very humorous and other sexually explicit. Now I find it very interesting to remember what I've heard and remembered shared with me on numerous occasions in the past. As I don't have an elephantine memory, the following examples appear to be more recognizable.

Are you a top or bottom?
Fate must have brought us together.
Our bodies were meant to share.
Mother Nature is calling us both.
Tell me you love me; you don't have to mean it.
Excuses don't make sexual journeys.
Between us physically our bodies must unite.
Let us explore Mother Nature's gift to humanity.
What you have is worth my time.
Show me what you already know we want to learn about.

Personally, I am as shy as a deflated balloon. On the other hand, the litany of openers has always intrigued, probably because my ability in social communication has been less than exciting.

Buzz Flowers Callaway



LETTER BOTH SPECIOUS AND DISINGENUOUS

To the Editor:

I found the reasoning of Ms. Janice Van Cleve, in defending the Washington Post's omission of the late Major Alan Rogers' sexual orientation [Defending The Washington Post, 4/11/08], to be both specious and disingenuous. Further, so is the Washington Post's written policy on that subject. Neither Ms. Van Cleve or the Washington Post, Seattle Times, Seattle P-I, et al, would object to or refrain from publishing the fact a fallen male soldier left a wife and/or children. Such publication is an indirect statement of the deceased's sexual orientation. Further, I find it quite common to publish in "straight" publications the deceased left a lover of the opposite sex. So don't insult my intelligence with nonsense about a Gay soldier's right to privacy about their sexual orientation in the "straight" media.

Also, in the case of the late Major Alan Roger, he was openly Gay and fought to overturn "Don't Ask Don't Tell." We're not talking about the right to privacy; we're talking about the tyranny of privacy ("We have ways of making you like your privacy").

Until the media stops publishing the names of the deceased's spouse and children, Gay and Lesbian soldiers shouldn't be treated any differently.

Steven Kendall



GLSEN GSA BANQUET HELD IN MAY

Dear SGN,

I stood in the wings as I saw a special needs student step up to the microphone to accept an award for being the Most Inspirational Gay-Straight Alliance Member at the 3rd Annual Washington State Gay-Straight Alliance Banquet and Awards Ceremony last June. With tears in her eyes, she shyly nodded before returning to her seat. The GSA advisor at her school had told us she wore her GSA T-Shirt proudly around school and questioned anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) bias whenever and wherever it appeared.

I also can't forget the leaders of a GSA who won the Most Inspirational GSA award. Only a couple of months earlier, the group was fighting for its very existence. The school board had held public meetings about the group and even considered banning all extracurricular clubs rather than allowing the GSA to meet. They drove from Eastern Washington to receive the honor.

It's moments like these that make my job as Executive Director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Washington State worth every ounce of my effort. Everyday I correspond with brave young students - both Gay and Straight - who are working to end the problem of bullying and harassment in their school-wide communities. These youth are only a few of the many students who make up the 300 GSAs that belong to our Washington State GSA Network.

Research from GLSEN National shows:

Students in schools with GSAs are less likely to hear homophobic remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" in school on a daily basis than students without a GSA (57% compared to 75%).

LGBT students in schools with GSAs are less likely to miss school because they feel unsafe compared to other students: a quarter (26%) of students in schools with GSAs missed school in the past month because they felt unsafe compared to a third (32%) of students at schools without GSAs.

Students in schools with a GSA are more likely to report that school faculty, staff and administrators are supportive of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual students (52% compared to 32%).

Most importantly, GSAs save lives.

Each year we gather to recognize the courageous contributions of young people and their allies. We invite your readers to join us. The 4th Annual Washington State Gay-Straight Alliance Banquet and Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 23, 2008, at Lakeside School (14050 1st Avenue NE Seattle, WA).

We offer live entertainment, a buffet style dinner and an amazing silent auction. For tickets, call 1-800-838-3006 or visit www.BrownPaperTickets.com. To learn more about us or the banquet, call 206-330-2099 or visit www.glsenwa.org.

Sincerely,

Robert Raketty
Executive Director, GLSEN Washington State
   

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