In response to "Let's roll!" (June 26): Michael Wall: While your cover story on the proposed Northern Arc was certainly well-written, well-balanced and well- warranted, one key element was absent from your article, which is no surprise, given that it seems to be missing from all arguments concerning the Northern Arc. That element is compromise.
It seems as though people are so busy espousing one polar opposite or the other that they don't want to devote any energy to the middle ground, which is the idea of building that damn road while limiting the development that takes place around it.
I do not buy into Sen. Vincent Fort's allegation that the Arc would be the catalyst for the formation of a "New Baltimore" that would suck the life force out of Atlanta. Sure, our infrastructures are gnarly, our public schools are substandard, and our crime rate sucks, but the proximity to Midtown and downtown, the colorful street scenes, artsy vibes, cultural diversity, and vast plethora of entertainment (and culinary) options here will continue to attract newcomers for years.
Intown Atlanta's biggest employers aren't about to jump ship either. Do you really think BellSouth, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Grady Hospital, Southern Company and the entire state government are about to relocate simply because of a new freeway?
At the same time, it appears that Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Wayne Hill does not purely have his constituents' best interests in mind in his whole-hearted support of this project. Sure, business would crank in Bartow, Cherokee, Forsyth and Gwinnett if the plan goes through in its current form, but what about the people who moved to those places for the specific purpose of getting away from that type of rampant growth?
Putting moratoriums on road-building is not the answer. The Northern Arc needs to come to fruition for the purpose of alleviating traffic woes, NOT for the sake of opening the door for the Atlanta MSA to expand to the point where it will eventually encompass the entire northern region of the state of Georgia and even beyond. To Vincent Fort and Wayne Hill: You have a chance to turn this into a scenario that benefits everyone and screws nobody. Please do that.
-- Stefan Reinhardt, Atlanta
In his letter in the July 3 issue of CL ("The other gender"), Kenny Johnson of Ellenwood writes: "What's next, your doctor meeting you in the waiting room and yelling, 'Congratulations, Mr. Henry! You are now the proud father of a beautiful baby other.'"
Mr. Johnson, approximately one in 2,000 families do hear those exact or similar words upon the birth of their new baby. It is a condition called intersex and most often is obvious at birth when a baby is born with genitals that are not clearly male or female. It is precisely the ignorant reaction you so eloquently displayed in your letter that often leads to a lifetime of shame and secrecy for these children and their families.
You also make this claim: "People, if you were born with a womb, you are a WO-man. No womb, you are a man. Regardless of how many drugs you take, how much cutting or sewing you endure or how many voices you hear in your head telling you differently, this is the one constant that medicine cannot tweak."
That isn't so, Mr. Johnson, because many of those one in 2,000 babies are subjected to sex-change surgeries before the age of 1 in reaction to society's fear of being "different." Most of these children end up being raised female whether or not they have female genes. Be it a little boy born with what the medical community calls micro-penis or an XXXY baby, they often do end up female, lacking that womb which you feel defines gender.
-- Betsy Driver, outreach director of Bodies Like Ours, Tewksbury, N.J.
Something was missing
As a member of the transsexual community, I take offense at the letter "The Other Gender" (July 3). The bias in the letter is a small example of the day-to-day discrimination and misinformation we face. We are confused, we are nothing but gay. That is pure nonsense. We went through life knowing that something was wrong, that something was missing and then we discovered who we really were and became who we are. Who are you to tell us who we can be and who we must be? If people would get off this telling others how to live and concentrate on their own lives, then how much better a place this country would be.
-- Katarina Love, Atlanta
An important oversight
Your "Gay Top 40" has a huge, glaring omission (Vibes, "Over the rainbow and onto the charts," June 26).
How, how could you leave off Sister Sledge's "We Are Family"? I mean, there's a reason it was made the theme song for the movie The Birdcage. In fact, I'm sure I could find plenty of folks to argue that it ought to be No. 1!
But otherwise, a pretty great list. I enjoyed reading it.
-- Dan Nash, Chicago, Ill.
Tray Butler: Thank you for your recent article on Pride, "A Gay Pride Fairy Tale" (News & Views), June 26). My partner (of 15 years) and I could not agree with your article more! Thanks for being right on target with your views. We are glad there is at least one other person out there (though suspect many more), who also feels that "Pride" has lost its magic.
-- Rick Tullis, Decatur
In response to News & Views, "A Gay Pride Fairy Tale," June 26): After attending this weekend's Pride festivities, I felt we really need to just accept that it isn't going to be political or revolutionary.
And at times, it is pretty boring. But I wouldn't say that being gay is great in this country and that just because we have a TV program on Showtime that everything is OK. I also wanted to indicate that as a full-page ad in the Southern Voice indicated, Coors (one of the top three sponsors of Pride) continues to support anti-gay causes. And yet no one cares. Pretty sad state of affairs.
-- Lisa Freeman, Atlanta
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