THE RESPONSES YOU’VE received to your piece about Peter LaBarbera’s newsletter (“Lambda Razing,” The District Line, 8/13) range from the preachy to the ludicrous. What they share, however, is their failure to look at other perspectives. I must add my letter to the melee.
Addressing David Healy’s letter first (The Mail, 8/20), the astute Healy concludes that King David “is clearly the homosexual.” If he accepts those vague statements from the Bible as proof of David’s homosexuality, I’d hate to see him on a jury. Healy’s frantic search for historical acceptance—or at least recognition—of homosexuality “clearly” shows how desperate he is in his search. Surely there is much stronger proof that other figures from history, like Michelangelo, were gay. Then again, LaBarbera didn’t invoke Michelangelo. Would Healy conclude that Samson was gay? After all, Samson was “clearly” obsessed by the male physique.
Next is LaBarbera’s letter (The Mail, 9/3). He should be happy that the story covering his newsletter gave him more media attention than he deserves. Surely recognition of his newsletter has increased a thousandfold since you published Michael Gips’ piece. Will Washington City Paper write an article about me if I start documenting the activities of meter maids?
Actually, LaBarbera’s letter for the most part makes logical sense. Though he makes some inscrutable transitions (e.g., homos in history to developmental theory), at least he seems to be reasonably fair about weighing and evaluating evidence. He also seems fair about accepting valid criticism; he calls Gips’ piece a “model in fairness” even though he could not possibly miss the more critical elements of the piece.
Finally, there is Michael Colosi’s letter (The Mail, 9/10). He states the obvious point that the people who care most about a disease, and have the motivation to do something about it, are those afflicted by it, as well as their families and friends. While the AIDS virus is a dreadful scourge and efforts to stem it are certainly laudable, Colosi’s letter simply sets forth his own view on the subject and shifts the focus to his own perspective. LaBarbera opposes homosexuality morally, politically, and philosophically. He is not about to welcome programs that endorse homosexuality, and does not seem as concerned about stopping the spread of AIDS as stopping the spread of homosexuality. Colosi takes the practical approach of stopping AIDS: Homosexuality has always been and always will be part of our culture, so we better deal with the problems affecting their and our community. It seems useless to argue with LaBarbera on practical grounds.