Letters 2.07.07


More lax

I was glad to see the column dated Jan. 3, 2007 [“Duke lacrosse from a Starbucks in Garden City, NY”; by Brian Clarey]. I am a resident of Garden City, having moved there in 1990; I was raised in a blue-collar neighborhood and wanted more for my kids. I think Garden City had more to offer.

Your column of April 4, 2006 angered me [“Advantages of the privileged lacrosse sect”] (it was one of many articles/columns at the time that blasted the village) for its apparent conviction of Finnerty and its characterization of the town. My daughter (age 19) knows Finnerty – not well – but knows him, and says he is not the typical lacrosse jock. He’s a decent kid. While there are some elitists in the town, it’s a great place to grow up, even for my non-athletic kids.

Your last column went a long way to rectify something that was probably written with more passion than objective analysis. One question: Why do you need to run into Finnerty before you apologize to him?

Kevin Way

Garden City, NY


Hmmm. Mr. Clarey doesn’t get the point of protest or civil disobedience [“The spectacle of protest on Market and Elm”; Jan. 17, 2007; by Brian Clarey]. Well, that’s just so typical of today’s journalism. The majority of young journalists nowadays are conceited, smug, callow cynics who see their primary duty to be defending the establishment business elite against the silly, common rabble! The condescending tone in Mr. Clarey’s article is typical of that viewpoint. What was the point of dressing up like Indians and throwing tea in Boston Harbor? Or sitting down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter? Mr. Clarey’s attitude serves as an important reminder that too many of us are buying into cynicism, and forgetting that American citizens are ultimately responsible for our government and society. And if we don’t like the direction our society is driving, it’s our duty to stop it by whatever non-violent means necessary. It is unpatriotic and an insult to American values to submissively shut our mouths, shut our eyes and wave the flag. That’s not what Americans who care about their society do.

Laurie Gengenbach


Editor replies: You had me at “young journalist.”

Guilford College fracas

This article serves as a rare example of balanced journalism [“Guilford College Palestinians hire mouthpiece”; posted online Jan. 24; 2006; by Amy Kingsley]. In other articles, many facts exist surrounding this incident that have been completely overlooked or ignored. Thank you, Ms. Kingsley for writing this piece.

I urge writers and reporters to find out the real truth. This is much more than an isolated incident. I am a former Guilford College student who graduated in spring 2005. According to my sources, these Palestinian “victims” are not as innocent as people would think. There is always two sides to a story.

Michael J. Cole

New Castle, Del

As a journalist and former Triad resident, I was dismayed by the blatant bias implicit in the Web headline “Guilford College Palestinians hire mouthpiece.” Having “Palestinians” and the pejorative “mouthpiece” so clearly juxtaposed compromises any claim of objectivity your paper may wish to make. Even on an editorial page, such a headline can only serve to inflame passions surrounding the Guilford College incident.

John Reid

I wonder if the three Palestinian students beat up the football players, won’t they be all over the news nationwide considered as Muslims, terrorists, Palestinians and God knows what else? America, wake up. Hate is a disease. Media in America is always biased. It’s a shame this thing is happening in an educational institution. What can we say to the people in the streets?

Marty Alsabbah

Kenosha, Wis.

Luckily, the Guilford College community is about community building, respect, and getting to the core issues of problems, rather than forming a lynch mob against either side. It sounds like there’s so much going on here. Like many communities, Guilford has its racist, sexist, classist, (insert “ist” here) to deal with, but I think what separates Guilford from most, is that it has the critical tools and structure to effectively (hopefully) deal with them. We may never know what really happened that night, but there’s more than that which needs to be resolved.

Brian Heagney

Brooklyn, NY

To be young and transgendered

In regards to your recent article about Devon McCauley, the transgendered youth in Greensboro, I praise you for your open-minded enlightenment to the “Southern” public [“New life as woman brings discrimination for transgender youth”; Jan. 24, 2006; by Jordan Green].

I will not tell you my name because of the ignorance that surrounds me in this state. But I will tell you a little about my childhood. I was adopted by a married couple out of California in 1964, actually my identical twin and I were adopted together. My parents were legally married although my adoptive mother was transgendered (just like McCauley). How did she pull it off, you might ask? Well, I don’t have the time nor do you have the ink to print my experience in full so I will try to be brief and to the point. Maybe at a later time I can share more?

In a nutshell: Mom used her oldest sister’s identity to obtain a marriage license and legally married a young marine around 1960 in Hawaii. Later, she even used her sister’s Social Security number to obtain a part time job working for the city! She was (deceased) a Hawaiian native that wanted a family with children desperately. After one attempt to adopt a young black boy failed (the baby’s mother saw that dad was white and thought it best not to adopt to them), they finally succeeded with the adoption of my twin and myself. Everything went along normally during my childhood, except for the big secret. I figured it all out very early along and still remember playing with her makeup as she dressed and went through the whole ritual of attire and cosmetic modification. I think we were three or four years old when mom would chase us out of her room and tell us, “You girls are getting too old to be in here watching me dress”.

It was very hard to deal with growing up because of the glances mom would get at times in grocery stores and the like. It literally broke my heart watching the behavior and reactions of some people who noticed her subtle male features. The way they glared, some laughed and pointed. I must admit, after all these years since her death in 1978 (I was almost 14), I still consider her my mother and miss her dearly. I could call no one else “mother” or “mom” because she is the one who raised me with just as much love as any woman could give their natural-born children. She never discussed this secret to us but we all know that through the years sooner or later, you will catch a glimpse of mom or dad in the buff, let’s be honest. Actually I did not ever see mom completely nude, come to think of it, but getting ready for church or just everyday was pretty interesting, compensating for hips and breasts amongst other things.

 So to you Devon, please always remember that you are special, just as special as anyone else. I have never met you but want you to know that this world is full of people just like you and the biggest lesson in life comes from transgendered folks just like you!

I learned it long ago as a child. It is called compassion, or “unconditional love.” So many people will never understand you, some don’t want to. The world is not just black and white, but all of the colors in between. I would love to meet you and share my story and unconditional love and understanding with you.

Thanks again Jordan, for opening up and touching a subject that seems to be the last taboo. Thank you YES! Weekly for being so balanced in all of your articles – keep it up!

To your readers I would like to say: you are never too old or Southern to learn a big lesson of compassion. I learned it before I was five years old. Maybe you could try to learn what compassion really means and open your mind and heart to people like McCauley…maybe???

Please feel free to print, edit or whatever you want with this story. There is so much to tell.


Closeted-Compassionate California native

The young lady needs support and guidance from someonewho has been there, done that. Keep in mind transgendered are individuals and there is not a one-size-fits-all situation. She needs to know she had nothing to do with the way she was born any more than someone with a clubfoot or cliff lip had a choice. Being the first one who is different from the crowd brings a lot of mixed reactions both good and bad.

More than anything else, tell her she isn’t alone. We are doctors, lawyers, husbands, wives, NASA scientists and next-door neighbors. Most of us want nothing more than the chance to quietly live our lives. In order to give our support sometimes we must step and say, “You aren’t alone.”

Barbie Lee

Elk City, Ok.