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Democrats on Republicans

August 29, 2004

To the Editor:

I cannot believe that Gay City News allowed Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democrat National Committee, to use our community’s newspaper for the purpose of trolling for gay votes on behalf of John Kerry. (“A Midtown Masquerade,” Aug. 26-Sep. 1). Moreover, the information contained in Mr. McAuliffe’s campaign literature simply was wrong. Mr. McAuliffe wrote: “John Kerry believes same-sex couples should be granted the same rights and have the same responsibilities as straight couples.” In fact, John Kerry is on record as supporting amendments to the state constitutions of Massachusetts and Missouri—and presumably others—to ban gay marriages. I think it’s dangerous for a newspaper to allow itself to be used as a tool for a political campaign, and Gay City News really should have printed Mr. McAuliffe’s “perspective” only as a paid political advertisement. Finally, if John Kerry is as supportive of the gay community as Mr. McAuliffe contends, then maybe John Kerry actually can appear and address a gay audience to personally explain why he deserves our vote. I’m not holding my breath.

Phillip Crawford Jr.


A Fitting Tribute

August 29, 2004

To the Editor:

I loved David Noh’s memorial to my great friend Fay Wray (“Fay Wray’s Century of Glamour,” Aug.19-25). I had no idea how much he knew about Fay and was very impressed. I have been interviewed about her so many times and have never encountered anyone so knowledgeable. When we next meet I will tell him more about Fay and Dolores de Rio’s friendship.

Fay was a magical lady, a true friend and supporter—and much younger than many of my young friends. I am so honored that her last appearance was in my film “Broadway: The Golden Age.” She always actively supported the film—from backers screenings, to festivals in Florida or San Francisco or the Hamptons, to opening night on 42nd Street. She was the last guest that night to leave Sardi’s at the cast party. She may be the last of many eras as well. I am grateful to David for remembering this great lady so honorably.

Rick McKay

Director/producer “Broadway: The Golden Age”

Acceptance, and Then Some

August 24, 2004

To the Editor:

There are only two words in the English language that can adequately express our gratitude for David Kennerley’s review of “The First Step” (“Where Hype Meets Hope,” Aug. 19-25): Thank You.

Michael Darden

“The First Step”

Wigged Out, and Sorry

August 30, 2004

To the Editor:

Your review of Wigstock (“Spit Curls, Buffed Nails,” by Winnie McCroy, Aug. 26-Sep. 1) was so full of error it was a disgrace and a disservice to all those who performed as well as all those who worked so hard to put it together (god bless Lady Bunny!).

How this journalist could completely dis’ the legendary Holly Woodlawn by calling her “aging queen Ann Woodward” is beyond comprehension. Her rare and beautiful number was the highlight of the show.

Throughout the article names were mangled (“Barbara Patterson Rose “ for our beloved Barbara Patterson Lloyd, “Leandra“ for the incomparable Princess Diandra.

Incredibly, the drag performers of Lips were described as the restaurant’s “transsexual” staff. Such gaffes could be expected from the ignorant New York Post, but the readers of Gay City News deserve better.

D. Yarritu


Paul Schindler replies: We regret the errors and any slight to the performers. Thanks for clarifying the record.

Lessons Learned from Grandparents Who Survived

August 28, 2004

To the Editor:

Reading about the Rosenstrasse protest, in Seth Bookey’s review of the film of the same name, brought back my earliest childhood memories of activist inspiration (“Civil Disobedience in Nazi Berlin; Aug. 19-25). My grandmother was one of the women who demonstrated on Rosenstrasse in those dark days of 1943, daring to demand the release of her husband, my grandfather. This courageous woman was also a part of the Berlin underground that fed hundreds of undocumented other Jews living in hiding. Such acts of high treason against the will of the Third Reich were far more than the mere misdemeanor of civil disobedience; simply speaking out against the persecution often resulted in death by beheading.

Growing up on the Upper West Side in the bustling post-war Jewish refugee world of Washington Heights in the 1950s, I was a very lucky little boy because I had a living grandfather to dote on me. Most of my peer’s grandparents, aunts and uncles had been exterminated in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. My grandmother’s heroism had made his presence in my life possible, and she was a fabulous cook as well.

In those days, we children of Holocaust survivor refugees, born in freedom in America, were their only hope, their only reason for being able to go on with life after the horror in Germany from which they had escaped. We were to be the future, the next generation’s doctors and lawyers, homosexuals and civil rights activists. It really was no coincidence that we became inspired to march on Selma as young adults in the 60s, and in San Francisco in the 70s; because, as children in Washington Heights, we were taught to cherish the freedom we had every single day.

In Nazi Germany, the noise of a child’s laugh was a catastrophe that resulted in entire families in hiding being discovered and sent to death camps. And so our parents literally burst into tears of joy when we children in Washington Heights laughed and shouted and scampered across the linoleum floors.

To paraphrase the Rev. Martin Neimoeller’s lesson: If I remain silent when others are oppressed, there will be no one left to speak out when they come for me. In Nazi Germany, it was forbidden for Christians to be married to Jews; the love of two people was irrelevant to a government that used hate and violence for political gain. One can only hope that the revival of the story of the courageous Christian wives of Rosenstrasse might make people realize that they cannot remain silent, today in America, over our government’s abuse of religion and law to deny our right to freedom.

Denny Meyer



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