From Our Readers: December 2008


Thank you for printing my thoughts about the upcoming Milk film [“You Gotta Give Them Hope” by Buddy Johnston, November] and my hope that everyone views The Times of Harvey Milk DVD before seeing Milk in theaters.

I was very proud to see Mark Timmers on the cover of OutSmart in November [“Houston’s Animal Cop” by Brandon Wolf]. It was amazing to me personally that the issue in which I am talking about Harvey Milk, I get to see Mark on the cover. The reason for my pride is that on Sunday morning, September 7, 1987, when I did the first After Hours broadcast, I was honestly so scared that I could barely put the needle on the record to play the first song. During the first few minutes of that very first After Hours broadcast I looked up in the hallway of KPFT and saw HPD officer Mark Timmers standing there smiling ear to ear, giving me the thumbs up — at least I think it was his thumb!

Seriously, I was so proud of Mark that night. His presence in the studio that early Sunday morning gave me the hope to do what After Hours has continued to do on KPFT for these past 21 years. I just wanted to thank Mark for being there with me some 21 years ago and tell him how proud I was to see him on the cover of OutSmart.

I really wish you knew how much it means to me when I pull OutSmart out of my mailbox every month. I read it online, but when my fingers touch those pages, they really connect me to Houston.

I am so happy for the hope that OutSmart brings me and, I am sure, thousands of other readers every month. Keep up the good work!

Buddy Johnston
San Francisco, California

Editors Note: Shortly after the November publication went to press, OutSmart was sad to learn that Lt. Mark Timmers’ contracted position at the Houston Humane Society was not renewed due to budgetary constraints. We wish the best for Mark and believe he will soon obtain another opportunity within the animal rights community due to his dedication and passion for protecting those in need.


Thank you for your recent article about Lt. Mark Timmers and the earlier article about Sgt. Julia Oliver.

It has been a good OutSmart year for community cops. In consideration of that, I would like to suggest to the community that it is time we had a uniformed police officer as grand marshal of the Pride Parade. I think the selection of grand marshals should be more than a popularity contest and more recognition of the advancement of our movement toward equality. Considering we have gone from having to fear cops to having openly gay, lesbian, and transgender cops, it is time we celebrate that achievement.

Ray Hill

Editor’s note: Ray Hill was grand marshal of Houston’s GLBT Pride Parade in 1981.



I thought perhaps OutSmart had really gone high tech because of the whining sound emanating from the stack of new issues at my gym, Muscle Mechanics.

But upon paging through an issue I found, it was just Dale Carpenter’s column [OutRight, “Goodbye to the GLBT Movement,” November] screaming and stamping its feet. Dale has “resigned” from the GLBT movement (although it hurt him to include the “T”) saying it has no place for a conservative. He goes on to accuse the progressive czars who rule the movement of wanting more government and wealth redistribution, destroying the military, and wanting to “upend” rather than “sit” at the table of American life.

 I usually feel like I’m looking at a surreal painting when listening to “conservatives” like Dale (who is apparently piqued that John and Sarah lost the election).

More government? Your conservative government has doubled our national debt in eight years, but they’ve assured that it is just the right size to fit in my bedroom and my love relationship.

 Destroy the military? I guess supporting the military means denying our returning war heroes medical care (“Welcome to Walter Reed, please ignore the rats in your room”), denying their disability benefits, and ignoring an increasing suicide rate among soldiers.

 Wealth redistribution? Sorry, I wasn’t invited to any of the swanky parties that AIG has thrown using our tax money.

 This list could take over this entire issue.

 So, Dale, just admit it. You are experiencing Kübler-Ross’ stages of grief not because the GLB (and, sorry, T) movement has left you out, but because your beloved conservative movement has left you . . . in (the closet). They have no place at the table, even an upended one, for you—but your kind can surely set it beautifully, pick the fine wine, and then head back into the closet.

So, Dale, please spare my ears your high-pitched whine!

David Arpin

 P.S. And I hope some trannie doesn’t kick your Log Cabin ass!


Conservatives like Dale Carpenter seem to believe that progressives view Obama as the second coming. Even liberals have their doubts about what he can accomplish. We even completely disagree with some of his political stances. It seems almost every TV pundit and commentator asks whether Obama can risk or get away with turning far left or “radical.” In spite of the tremendous grassroots efforts and worldwide desire for him to be president, conservatives continue to label his ideas (and in turn, labeling “fake” Americans) radical. We are often accused of not being tolerant of people’s religious views. But when those same beliefs infringe on civil liberties, lead to murder, suicide, depression, and hate, a line has to be drawn.

I have little sympathy for conservatives and no sympathy at all for gay conservatives. Most of Dale’s articles I find enjoyable, but this bitch-and-moan “Faux News” puff piece [“Goodbye to the GLBT Movement”] was disgusting, sad, and unsettling to read.

Also, in response to Mike Crowe’s pity-party letter [“No Comparison,” November Letters, re: What a World, “Palin Comparison” by Nancy Ford, October], maybe Ford couldn’t name any of Obama’s accomplishments because the media mainly focused on the negatives. I guess Sarah Palin’s extremist religious views, $150,000 wardrobe, annoying voice, and lack of knowledge concerning the role of the vice president makes her more qualified to govern both real and fake America.

Pete Keanon


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