Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Letters to the Editor 

Letters from April 19, 2000

Girls Just Wanna Crush Bones
Awesome!!! I have been in the Society for Creative Anachronism for more than two years, and that is the best article I have ever seen written about us ("Past Perfect," Night Crawler, April 5)! It was especially important to me, as a lady fighter (hard suit and rapier), that you get the point across that girls do too fight!

Charla Henney
Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Mad Enough to March
I received Joel Engardio's article "No March Madness" (Bay View, March 22) by e-mail from a friend in San Francisco. Mr. Engardio's article equally represents both sides of the ongoing argument, and offers the reader a well-rounded discussion of why or why not to attend the Millennium March on Washington.

The negativity of the article, as suggested by its title, and the arguments of those in opposition to the march are so personally insulting and alarming to me that I was inspired to write and (if published) share with your readers why the Millennium March is so important to me. And as a former San Francisco resident who wanted nothing more than to work for the LGBT movement, I feel that my opinion should be considered by San Francisco's LGBT naysayers.

I recently left San Francisco and moved to Washington, D.C., hoping to find a job as the activist San Francisco didn't want (or need). I found an entry-level position at a great D.C.-based organization that works tirelessly for our cause and, having experienced activism in San Francisco, it infuriates me to be told that my excitement about the march and the work I do every day is worthless.

I graduated from UC Berkeley in 1998 with a minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, and I moved to San Francisco inspired and energized, rearing to make a mark in the movement. I had found my calling to be an activist! Living in San Francisco gave me the opportunity to feel truly free and at ease with my sexuality, but I quickly learned that most of the people of San Francisco were too complacent in their comfortable bubble to share my enthusiasm. Having grown up in rural Needles, Calif. (population 6,000), I experienced hate and oppression firsthand, where the only thing I cared about as a young gay man was acting straight so that people wouldn't call me a fag and beat me up. My enthusiasm was (and is) founded in my yearning to make Needles, and every other unsafe town in America, as safe and comfortable as the Bay Area.

In "No March Madness," Robert Perez and Vince Quackenbush claim that there isn't a need for a national march, and that efforts should be focused on local mobilization. Their hearts are in the right place, but they are failing to recognize that there are very few people willing to work for their cause. Urban LGBT Californians don't have much to fight for, and rural Californians are too afraid to "come out" for fear of having to fight. I echo Dianne Hardy-Garcia in saying that a successful national march will create activists on local levels. We need to empower, with numbers, those in rural areas because they are the future activists who still feel the oppression enough to do something about it. Yes, we have come a long way, but to say that there are no pressing issues comparative to those that surrounded earlier marches is preposterous considering the increase of hate crimes directed at our community in the last few years. We can use the momentum of our movement to make this march the most publicized and far-reaching march to date. Those of us who are living comfortably in well-resourced gay communities have an obligation to demonstrate our power to the rural LGBT youth throughout the country who feel helpless and afraid and still grapple with suicide. With all the negativity toward this march within our community, my gravest fear is that the opposing organizations will succeed in their efforts to make the Millennium March a flop. The "bitching" and complaining may be healthy within our community, but on April 30, if we are not able to set aside our differences and come together, we will be demonstrating to our country and our leaders that our community isn't capable of standing together on our main issue: the fact that we deserve equal rights under the law. It will send a reinforcing message to the heterosexist/homophobic world that we are insignificant.

Finally, the reason I am most looking forward to this march, and most fearful of its failure, is because my friends (many of whom are coming from California) and I will be attending our first (and probably last) march on Washington. It seems that most of the people who condemn MMOW while singing the praises of previous marches are refusing to acknowledge what a powerful and inspiring experience a rally like this will be for thousands of young LGBT Americans. So my message to those who are still in opposition to the march is this: Please stop recruiting people to boycott the march; MMOW is going to happen whether you're there or not and you're ruining it for everyone.

C. Noel Plemmons
Washington, D.C.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"