Letters From the August 22/29, 2022, Issue

Letters From the August 22/29, 2022, Issue

Letters From the August 22/29, 2022, Issue

Gay liberation… Hooded justice… 


Gay Liberation

I’m a little older than Benjamin Moser, but my experience was not all that different from his in “How I Stopped Being Gay” [July 11/18]. I agree that it’s wonderful to have acceptance, but we, indeed, paid a price for it. In spite of our oppression, we had the freedom to create ourselves—and we had to create ourselves because there was no preordained, respectable way to be a gay man. I don’t wish for young LGBT people to experience the fear, loneliness, and danger that we did, but it makes me sad that they, much like straight people, will go from their high school Gay/Straight Alliance, to dating nice young men in college, to finding the “right guy” to legally marry and adopt children with, and never have any reason to be wild, to feel that power of being on the outside of the city walls, free to roam the countryside, with no desire to get back in.
Bruce Tidwell

While I rather confidently disagree with a few points made in Benjamin Moser’s essay, I can at least hope I am wrong in questioning his assertion that, as a gay man coming of age in the mid- to late ’90s, he is fortunate to be living at the right time and place as to not have to fight for his rights. My view is that this sort of complacency is myopic. A vicious anti-LGBTQ backlash is bubbling and is about to boil over. Again, I hope I am wrong. But I suspect it is too early to stop organizing and marching under the assumption that acceptance in American society is secured.
Lawrence Jensen
san jose, cal.

I was delighted to read about my last gay bookstore in Benjamin Moser’s beautiful essay as I start the second half of my ninth decade. I say “last” because at one time or another, my partner, Bill White, and I had six such stores. In the over 30 years of my gay stores there were countless stories like Mr. Moser’s. One small clarification: He noted I had once been married, but I’ve known since I was 5 years old that I was only attracted to males. It was a different time and complicated circumstances.
Larry Lingle

Hooded Justice

Louis Michael Seidman’s exposé of the Supreme Court was an eye-opener for me [“The Problem of the Supreme Court,” June 27/July 4]. I would also like to add something about Hugo Black, the justice with links to the Ku Klux Klan who was nominated by Franklin Roosevelt. In 1921, James Edwin Coyle, a Roman Catholic priest, was shot and killed by E.R. Stephenson, a Methodist Episcopal minister and a Klan member, in Birmingham, Ala. What motivated the attack was that Coyle had performed a marriage that day between Stephenson’s daughter, Ruth, who had converted to Catholicism a few months earlier, and Pedro Gussman, who was Puerto Rican. The Klan paid for Stephenson’s defense. Four of his lawyers were Klan members, and the fifth was Hugo Black. Though he was not a member of the Klan at the time, Black played a role in Stephenson’s acquittal for the murder of Father Coyle.
Ed Nizalowski
newark valley, n.y.

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read. It takes a dedicated team to publish timely, deeply researched pieces like this one. For over 150 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and democracy. Today, in a time of media austerity, articles like the one you just read are vital ways to speak truth to power and cover issues that are often overlooked by the mainstream media.

This month, we are calling on those who value us to support our Spring Fundraising Campaign and make the work we do possible. The Nation is not beholden to advertisers or corporate owners—we answer only to you, our readers.

Can you help us reach our $20,000 goal this month? Donate today to ensure we can continue to publish journalism on the most important issues of the day, from climate change and abortion access to the Supreme Court and the peace movement. The Nation can help you make sense of this moment, and much more.

Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Ad Policy