Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (May 1, 1985)
Just O ut is published the first of each month.
Copyright 1985. No part of Just Out may be re
produced without the written permission of the
Written and graphic materials are welcomed for
submission. All written material should be typed
and double-spaced. All graphic material should be
black ink on white paper.
Deadline for submissions is the 15th of each
O ut A bout Toivn is a courtesy to our readers.
Items must be received by the 15th of each month.
Display advertising will be accepted up to five
days before publication date, if camera ready, if
not. then seven days prior.
Classified ads must be received at the office of
Just O ut ten days prior to publication date, along
Editorial policies allow the rejection or the edit
ing of an article or advertisement that is offensive,
demeaning or may result in legal action. Just Out
consults the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel
Manual on editorial decisions.
Graphic Arts Director
Views expressed in letters to the editor, columns,
and features may not necessarily be those of the
editorial staff of Just Out.
Subscriptions to Just Out are available for
$7.50 for 12 issues. A free copy of Just Out and/or
advertising rates are available upon reguesL
The mailing address and telephone number for
Just O ut are:
Anita Q uiton
P.O. Box 15117
Portland. OR 9 7 2 1 5
2 3 6 -1 2 5 2
E D I T O R I A L
photo bv Helen Lottrldge
b y J a y B ro w n
Has the horror of the Holocaust been m inimized? Was Hanna Arendt correct when she said
that evil is banal?
Forty years ago this m onth, Am ericans were horrified by the heinous crim es of the Nazis,
w hen Am erican and British troops liberated the concentration camps. Never before had the
w orld witnessed m a n ’s inhum anity on so large a scale. The horror must neuer be forgotten.
And yet, the undeniable fact of the Holocaust has recently been the object of a concentrated
cam p aig n by anti-Sem ites who say the Holocaust never happened.
And the President of the United States refuses to cancel a visit to a cem etery where
m e m b ers o f the Nazi SS are buried.
And closer to hom e, two people I know well, both of w hom were born after W W II stated that
they'd “had it up to here with all this Holocaust stuff." Granted, both persons are m em bers of a
privileged group — white Am erican heterosexual males in their mid-thirties.
"Auschwitz was conceived, structured, elaborated, perfected, built, organized and
im p lem en ted by the SS. They were the killers of Jews primarily, but not only o f Jews. They
butchered Poles and Czechs, French and Dutch, Norwegians and Danes, Yugoslavs.
Ukrainians, Greeks, Gypsies and gays. Auschwitz was a universe and the SS were its gods. W hy
then should anyone visit and, by doing so, honor their cem etery as though they had been
nothing but patriotic soldiers who died for their fatherland?"
‘= = ’Y
W h o could have heard Elie Wiesel, survivor of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald death camps,
and now chairm an of the US Holocaust M em orial Council, on April 18, 1985, and not believe
in the necessity of forever rem em bering the Holocaust and its victims?
To the E ditor o f Ju s t O u t:
I have been try in g to w rite this letter to
som eone, anyone, for alm ost three years:
I was raised by two extrem ely w arm , loving,
intelligent and beautiful parents. My m other
was strong, honest, and earthy without sac
rificing her femininity. My father was sensitive,
quiet, com passionate and gentle — and it
was these qualities that m ade him most
m asculine. Although theirs was a rocky m ar
riage, I never doubted their love for me. My
parents raised m e with a strong sense of
caring, a lack of prejudice, and a desire to
learn and understand.
In m y senior year of high school, those
values were severely tested when a series of
Just O ut Wav 1985
events turned m y world upside-down. My
father had a m ild heart attack and was in the
hospital for several days, during which tim e
he had som e deep discussions with m y
m o th er and took a good, long look at himself.
A few days later, m y m other sat m e down and
inform ed m e that she and Dad were separat
ing; D ad would move out as soon as he was
well enough. She couldn't, however, explain
the specific reasons why.
W hen D ad cam e hom e from the hospital, I
stayed out of the house a lot during the first
couple o f days — I just couldn't handle the
tension. I’d stay after school and practice m y
m usic, or I’d go for long bike rides out by the
berry fields, trying to calm m y m ind — I
couldn't believe m y parents were splitting up.
Well, I had to co m e hom e eventually —
one night after band practice, I cam e into the
living room and found D ad on the couch,
reading. He asked m e to sit down, he wanted
to tell m e som ething. Uh-oh, I thought,
som ething's up. To m y surprise, he started
talking about his feelings about m en and
w o m en — and about when he was m y age —
the things he thought about, worried a b o u t
T h e y were things that every teenager worries
about, but they were co m po unded b y . . . He
struggled; he wanted to say som ething, but
c o u ld n ’t I d o n ’t know how or why, but a
thought entered m y head and I blurted it out:
“Dad, are you a hom osexual?"
He looked relieved that I’d asked. He said
quietly, "Yes, Honey, I am." He waited for m y
reaction; he looked very nervous about what
h e’d just adm itted. I sat quietly, looking at the
hole in m y tennis shoe and not sure of what to
say. I was surprised, of course; m y father
never really fit the “gay" stereotype. H e’s truly
tall, dark and handsom e, with broad
shoulders, big m uscular hands and a deep,
resonant voice. His m ovem ents w eren’t par
ticularly graceful: he som etim es rem inded
m e of a sure-footed bighorn ram . But I
thought about D a d ’s way of thinking — his
quiet, aware, listening kind of attitude; his
gentleness, his tendency to walk away from a
fight (rather than run the risk of hurting h im
self or som eo ne else) — all the earm arks of
an intelligent, sensitive m an. M y father was
truly a paradox — a "gentle giant" w ho sim
ply w anted to be himself, and who was now
asking m e to let him be his com plete and
re al self with those he loved. D id he want m y
blessing? I thought about that for a m inute —
no, it was evident from the look on his face
that all he really wanted was to continue to be
a part of m y life, as m y father and as m y
friend. How could I even th in k of denying him
that? If I did, then everything he taught m e
w ould be a lie. and both of us would be h u rt
N o. I needed him just as m u ch as he needed
m e — and I told him so: "It doesn't matter,
D ad - y o u ’re still m y father and I still love you."
W e em b rac ed , sm iling through our tears.
It hasn't always been easy since that day.
M y parents did divorce, and I spent tim e living
with each of th e m when I w asn’t in college.
C o n tin u e d o n page 7