From Our Readers: May 2007

Hip-Hop Kudos. Pride debate contines. Null nods. Questions for LeftOut.


Although I am not gay, nor am I an activist, I am shocked that the leaders of the Houston Gay Pride events would consider moving the parade and festival to another site, much less another date [“Two Sides of Pride,” March 2007 OutSmart].

Even as an outsider to the movement, I can see the foolishness of disregarding the history of the movement. The purpose is to honor those who have gone before you and paved the way. Have you forgotten that? Montrose and June are significant to the history of your movement. It is sad that a white Yankee heterosexual female has to point that out to you.

Shall we move Martin Luther King Day to September to make more money also? How about Juneteenth? Shall we move that significant event to September so that we can appeal to more commercial interests?

I would never consider moving the festivities away from the area or the month of significance. It defeats the purpose of what you are celebrating.

As they say in the Northwest, Wake up and smell the coffee.

Jodi Pence
Katy, Texas

It was fairly obvious after reading the article that both “sides” in this debate are guilty of starting from fixed positions—and butressing their arguments accordingly. In business circles, this generally leads to tunnel vision and sub-optimal results.

The Pride Committee’s task force developed a report designed to answer “YES” to the question of moving the parade and festival out of Montrose and into downtown … and to change the date to September.   Somehow, the notion of creating a “destination weekend” overrode all logic. Forget the fact that September is the height of hurricane season or that it’s likely to be just as hot as June in Houston. Ignore the fact that September is also home to other LGBT festivals and events around the country: Castro Street Fair, Folsom Street Fair, the Out & Equal Workplace Summit are just a few that came to mind without doing any heavy research.

The POMPOMs seemed to be a little more flexible, except on the basic points of keeping everything in Montrose and in June. They ignored some of the findings regarding the festival’s ability to grow or continue to be successful at its present location…and there are some very real concerns about the parade route that need to be addressed with regard to safety and security.

All of that said, what really is called for here is a “re-do” on the analysis—starting with a process for everyone (as much as possible) to agree on what “success” will look like. Then we can move on to developing real, doable alternatives that will meet those goals for Houston Pride celebrations. I’m quite sure there is a winning formula that preserves our history and leverages the current successful program to build and grow with our city.

Fortunately, the status quo is not so dire that an immediate change is required. We have the time to do it right.

Mike Craig


Greetings from Taipei. I enjoyed the article on Hip-Hop [“Call It Homo Hop,” April OutSmart] and was proud to see the young gay rappers step up. I just finished my first poetry venue, and there were so many young people in the audience. My message is acceptance and diversity, and I am over here speaking loud and clear.

Kudos to Christopher Whaley, a young man I have had the opportunity to share a mic with. Houston is home for me, and OutSmart is still my magazine.

Donna Garrett
Taipei, Taiwan

Editor’s note: As OutSmart senior editor Nancy Ford reported last September, Donna Garrett, the poet and performer from Houston, has moved to Taiwan to “share her art with the children and staff of the Taipei American School.” Christopher Whaley reported on the HomoRevolution 2007 Tour.


Excellent, excellent article on gay hip-hop [“Call It Homo Hop,” April OutSmart] and plugging the tour. One correction for your online edition—the address of Club Dignity is 1927 Scott St, not 127.

Gee, I wish I would have known you were making such a big splash out of this (it certainly is deserved). I would have encouraged you to plug my Queer Music Heritage show for April 23, on Gay Hip Hop.

JD Doyle

Editor’s note: JD Doyle is producer and host of the Queer Music Heritage segment that airs on the fourth Monday of the month during Queer Voices, the 8-10 p.m. Monday KPFT radio program. Doyle is also co-producer of Audiofile, the monthly review program about new music of GLBT interest, for This Way Out, the internationally broadcast GLBT radio show. On May 28, Doyle will profile transgender musicians for his Queer Music Heritage segment.


Just a thought—would’ve been nice if Ms. Ford had gotten the family info correct [“Null Void,” April OutSmart]. Not only was my name spelled incorrectly, I just learned I have a brother in France instead of a sister…. Otherwise, it was a very nice article about my parents. Thank you for publishing it. I am very proud of them.

Kathie Null

A giant THANKS to both of you [senior editor Nancy Ford and editor Tim Brookover] for the great story on us in the April issue. John Kellett and Irv Smith posted it on the PFLAG e-mail list, and I’m already receiving nice comments from people—some as far away as Atlanta. (But then, no place is far away in this e-mail age.) Thanks also to John Conroy for his lovely photograph. Gosh, we feel like celebrities….

This beautiful small city of Brevard, NC, is certainly a break from the bustle of Houston—which is good and bad. It’s nice to slow down, but I’ll have to search a little harder for ways in which to have meaningful impact. But I’ve already had one letter published in the local newspaper, so that’s a step!

Sue and Jim Null
Brevard, North Carolina


One conclusion that a fair-minded reader can make after reading Daryl Moore’s article, “To Tell the Truth” [“LeftOut,” April OutSmart], is that all Republicans are evil and intent on looking after their rich friends and every Democrat is responsible for providing us the air we breathe. One example: that Bush lied about pre-war intelligence. Well, that would mean that virtually every Democrat in President Clinton’s final year, including Senator Clinton through 2002 leading up to the Iraq war, lied regularly to us as well. And you are fully aware of this.

Is Daryl’s only prism through which to view success and progress in America defined by one’s political party? I bet his friends have to wear boots just to listen to him! If you missed his column, here’s a summary: George Bush is corrupt, stupid, and incompetent. Democrats are the supreme judges of fairness and of good versus evil.

I hate to break this to you, Daryl, but if you’re a career politician in Washington, chances are that you’re part of any number of corrupt activities. Stuffing classified documents in one’s socks; hiding money in a freezer; preferred treatment of an intern due to a sexual-harassment case; the list is endless.

I would like to ask Daryl a few questions about the omnipotent Democrat party:

1. How will it cut spending to balance the budget?

2. How will it win the war on terror?

3. Who does it want to win the war in Iraq: the U.S. soldiers or the terrorists who blow up civilians?

4. How does it defend our borders and U.S. sovereignty from illegals?

5. How does it propose to end a cycle of only about 50% of our high school students graduating on time?

You have great faith in government, Daryl. Show me three areas in its last 50 years where it has impressed you with their spending habits and problem-solving. I’ll keep the boots handy.

Mike Crowe


In the April issue, we inadvertently omitted information on the website of Los Angeles-based Greg Frederick, who took the cover photo of hip-hop performer Miz Fontaine. It is www.gregfrederick.com.

We misidentified activist and Queer Voices co-host Deborah Bell in the profile of Sue and Jim Null (“Null Void”) in our April issue. Bell currently serves as the state president of the Texas chapter of the National Organization for Women.


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