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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 7, 1994)
4 ▼ octobre 7, 1004 ▼ just out
Voices of the children
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To the Editor:
I often find myself drawn to the gay and
lesbian studies section of a bookstore, eagerly
scanning the shelves, thirsting for a reflection of
my life and to hear my voice in another’s, to find
a taste of validation in knowing that my truth is
spoken amidst the blur of titles. Each time my
quest ends in disappointment, as my voice grows
louder, expanding painfully within the walls of
the closet that encloses the children of gays and
I am the daughter of a lesbian couple, and my
story remains untold. My life seems to have found
definition in the experiences of my parents and
the world who fears my family life may be harm
ful to my development. No one has asked the
child: What is it like, how does it feel to be the
Being raised by lesbian parents has been an
incredible experience, both nurturing and excru
ciating, interesting and mundane, bizarre and
ever-so-average—different and the same. I re
member feeling that I was the only one in the
whole world that had lesbian parents. Never did I
fathom that other children of such families ex
isted. What an incredibly isolating feeling—an
gry, lonely, scared, all this plus the world of
questions inherent in growing up. I can only look
back and know that my path was designed intri
cately, with lessons all its own.
On the other hand, what an incredible gift it
would have been to recognize my life in the world
and know that my family was not a mutation of
tradition—and my experience and evolution were
not so strange. And so, I want to offer this gift of
recognition and community to all the children of
gay and lesbian parents. We are not alone, we are
not strange, and we are families. Do not hide your
voice, for it is a strong and powerful voice in this
world. Your experience is valuable and impacts
all life, beyond what you are able to see.
For those of you who are not the children of
gays and lesbians, honor the voices of the chil
dren. Do not assume what life has been for them.
Do not define their experiences with your own.
Do not suffocate the voices of those who know
their own truth. If you want to know and hear their
truth, ask the children—and listen.
E. Brook Steinbrecher-Maring
Not a narrow community
sexuals who likewise attempt to minimize
society’s stigmatization by insisting they aren’t
gay are used by some to justify exclusion of all
transvestites and transsexuals?
To what degree is the nontranssexual,
transgender individual’s demand for the gay and
lesbian community to address his or her issues the
result of “less obvious” gay men and lesbians
censoring and ostracizing the traditionally most
visible individuals, in an effort to obtain in
creased acceptability by mainstream America?
And finally, is it even possible to separate
sexual orientation from gender issues, when all
of our oppressions stem from society’s unreason
able demand that everyone conform to a narrow
range of behaviors inextricably and artificially
linked to our anatomies? The straight man in a
dress and the gay man with a boyfriend are both
oppressed for engaging in behavior considered
inappropriate for individuals with a penis.
Sexual orientation isn’t restricted to what we
do or would like to do in bed—it is exhibited by
how we act, what we wear, and what and how we
speak. Rather than complicating the issue and
confusing the public by addressing “gender” as a
separate issue, we as a community can protect all
our members by ensuring that the appearance or
perception of homosexuality is just as much a
part of sexual orientation as lovemaking or
affectional preference. We are sorely mistaken,
too, if we don’t ensure protection for effeminate
straight men or straight women working in non-
traditional occupations—they are often perceived
as queer as well, and if anyone is mistakenly
discriminated against, harassed or bashed by
homophobes they are absorbing blows meant for
We must find the political strength and energy
to fight for more than just a narrow, select com
munity, or we cannot expect others to concern
themselves with our struggle.
Margaret Deidre O’Hartigan
To the Editor:
I am writing to inform you that homophobia is
alive and well in Corvallis. On Sept. 2, I was
summarily given the heave-ho from a local wa
tering hole called the PeacockTavem. My crime?
I went to the bathroom.
The manager, Tom, confronted me as I exited
the ladies’ room. He proceeded to tell me there
was no room for explanation, or discussion. I was
out. Now. Seeing discretion as the better part of
valor, I left.
I am a pre-operative transsexual and have
been frequenting this place as a male for about 10
years off and on. This sudden attitude was most
disheartening. I really thought better of the man.
Anyway, I thought it might be advisable to
spread the word that the Peacock is hostile to a
certain segment of the gay community, namely
us gurls. If you could put this out on the grapevine
it might save someone else a problem.
To the Editor:
Ariel Waterwoman’s pointed questions con
cerning membership in the queer community
[Editorial, Just Out, Sept. 2, 1994] are welcome
and long overdue. I should like to add a few of my
Is someone such as myself, who was beaten,
harassed and discriminated against all through
childhood and adolescence as “a faggot,” to be
denied a place in the queer community simply
because I was diagnosed as transsexual and re
ceived medical treatment?
Why are allowances made for closeted gay Rachel Lee Momingstar
men and lesbians, yet transvestites and trans- Alsea, Ore.
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.. , _____
Dallas G. Hamden, 37, died Sept. 8, 1994, at
the Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie, Wyo.
Although he was bom in Laramie, Dallas was
raised in the Northwest and called the Vancouver-
Portland area his home.
He worked in Alaska as a surveyor and in
Portland as a painter and sculptor. He was an artist
in everything he did. He loved the ocean, and, on
days when he wasn’t at school, he could always be
found near it. He returned to Laramie in 1989 to
care for his grandmother.
Survivors include his grandmother, Evelyn
Miller, who raised and nurtured him; his father,
Ridge Durand, from whom Dallas inherited his
artistic talent; and the many relatives, friends and
special people who also love Dallas and will miss