Letters to the editor and comments from Q-Notes Online. Web comments are not edited for grammar or punctuation.

Op-ed not full story on ‘Crisis’
I was a little surprised to see you publish the October 4th guest commentary (“Ignoring the crisis at home?”, Brandon Greeson) suggesting I am “ignoring the crisis at home” about gay teens. To imply that I don’t care about the teens around here is incredibly disappointing to me personally. I can only tell all your readers that their pain was a major inspiration for me to spend almost a year doing the book. And I would hope my actions over the years show me for who I am.

The basic concept of the book is to alleviate the pain teens face in ANYTOWN, USA. Brent Childers and Jimmy Creech are right now hand delivering hundreds of books to local churches throughout North Carolina and engaging their ministers in important conversations. I have given out over 350 books to my employees at no cost in rural Alexander County and opened my door to talk directly with them about how they can stop the harm caused to their family and friends. We have a short and long term plan to reach as many people as possible especially outside of the bubbles of New York, LA and San Francisco. The proceeds from the book will go to organizations that support gay teens all over the country. While the LA and NYC centers are located there, the homeless teens using these centers are usually from small rural towns.

Bob and I have been significant supporters of ALFA, the local AIDS support organization, for years. We support EqualiltyNC as well. To suggest that our community activities only consist of supporting Mr. Gay USA is just plain insulting. I don’t want to get into a back and forth with anyone committed to furthering full and equal rights for our community. But I also learned a long time ago not to let incorrect information go unchallenged. Writing in public forums is a responsibility not to be taken lightly.
— Mitchell Gold, Taylorsville, NC, letter

No time more crucial
Never in our life time as LGBT Americans has an election been more crucial to our interests and the interests of our country. The old days of complacency and feeling that one vote doesn’t matter are over. This election may well be won or lost based on a few votes.

Barack Obama is the clear choice to both support and advance those issues that are so important to LGBT people; issues like security in our jobs, safety from hate crimes, equality in the eyes of the law.

John McCain on the other hand has a clear record of voting against and not supporting the interests of LGBT people. He is on the record voting against protecting LGBT people from being fired just for who they are. This is not only an affront to us as American citizens but hits us squarely in the pocketbook when we can least afford it.

Ask yourself this question: Is improving my life and the lives of millions of LGBT Americans worth a trip to the polls on Nov. 4th to vote for Barack Obama? If the answer is YES, go proudly and cast your vote. If you answer no, please reflect on your responsibility to vote for the change that you say you want.
— Cass Catlett, Greensboro, NC, letter

Obama has strong record
John McCain has never once voted to progress LGBT equality. He voted against federal legislation that would protect LGBT people from being fired just for who they are, he believes gay people should not be able to serve in the military, visit their loved ones in the hospital and he isn’t even sure we should be able to adopt. He has even appeared in TV commercials asking Arizonans to support a bill that would forever write discrimination into the Arizona state constitution and keep our families from being recognized as equals in the eyes of the law.

Barack Obama has a strong and consistent record in support of LGBT people.

We need to engage people in the system to elect Barack Obama and to elect fair-minded Democrats to Congress, who will pass a fully-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act that Barack is eager to sign, and who will help him repeal DOMA and the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy that is preventing honorable men and women from serving in the military right as our country needs them most.
This is going to be the tightest race in recent memory, a handful of votes will decide if battleground states go red or blue and decide the election.

That is why we need you to get involved, spend the rest of the election cycle knocking on doors and making calls. We cannot wake up on November 5th wishing we had done more.
— Carl Zwerling, Irmo, SC, letter

HIV story is outrageous
Ed. Note — Please see staff editorial opposite page.
This story (“Gay DJ put on house arrest for second HIV violation,” web) has me outraged — but not in the way that you might think. I’m disgusted that Q-Notes — my hometown newspaper — would publish Josh’s photo. That is wholly unnecessary and stigmatizing to a degree that is shocking for a gay newspaper. Why do we think he didn’t disclose? Talking to Poz guys in North Carolina, you’d quickly realize that disclosing an HIV-positive status is something like disclosing leprosy. The stigma and outright ignorance that exists about HIV in North Carolina is the real crime here — fueled by a homophobic abstinence-only sex ed regime that does nothing to educate and everything to promote ignorance and hate.
— Trevor Hoppe, Oct. 23, web

Oh man, he’s so cute! Too bad, I sense its anger why he did it. I feel sorry for him and the victims. Its moments like this I really, really wish there could be a cure. Wouldn’t want to see such a young person get lost to the disease. At the same time, the persons who too the risk of unprotected sex should know better.
— Enron, Oct. 23, web

What the people of NC have allowed the government to do to this poor man is SICK! This man committed no crime, he isn’t accused of raping anyone. His health and the health of his partners’ is their business and their business alone. It’s bad enough we put up with all of the other intrusions from big brother let alone in the bedroom! I think we should put a camera in District Court Judge Jacqueline Brewers’ bedroom for a week and see what “crimes” she commits!

The conduct of Qnotes in this situation is also disgusting. While I would never tell them what they can or can not print, I also don’t have to support it. Further, I can actively work against them by contacting every advertiser I see on this site – which is exactly what I intend to do. Yes, I’m that angry about this and yes, I have that much time on my hands!
— Christopher, Oct. 23-24, web

Thank You to Q-Notes and Matt Comer for “responsibly” reporting this story. It is sad that the young man in question is himself not acting responsibly by disclosing his condition to prospective partners. I say to this young man, please seek help in the form of counseling or support groups and please take responsibility for your actions. I am sure you will find many gay men accepting and understanding of your condition and I am sure many will be more than willing to help you on your quest. Please act in a more responsible manner. Be up front and honest. The gay community as I know it are full of loving and kind people who are willing to assist you in what ever ways are possible.

Too the individuals who accuse Q-Notes and Matt Comer for acting irresponsibly in reporting this story and posting a picture, SHAME ON YOU! I think that you have not thought this through or you, YOURSELVES’ act irresponsible in such matters. As a gay man, I want to know who is in our communities acting irresponsible and if posting a story about them and their picture is what it takes to make us aware, then so be it. Those people wanting to contact advertisers who support Q-Notes to complain about the story will find that those advertisers are grateful as I am for disclosing and reporting such an important story. Again…thank you to Q-Notes and to Matt Comer for exposing this so that readers can be made aware of dangers in our community.
— jc, Oct. 24, web