Daniel Boyer’s Sister Thanks Lavender

Thank you so much for all the December 16 Lavender magazines sent. The cover article and pictures on my brother, Daniel Boyer, were absolutely perfect! I have been sharing the magazines with his many family members and friends from Michigan. What a lovely Christmas present for all of us. At a time that has been difficult, it has brought such happy thoughts and memories! Give our gratitude to all of your staff.

Mary Anne Putt

Daniel Boyer Article Was Fantastic

I wanted to share with you that the article on Daniel Boyer in your December 16 issue was fantastic. I was choking back tears in the Uptown Diner reading it. He was a great man and a great friend, and I thought it was really special that he was honored that way.

David A. Olson
Senior Financial Advisor
Ameriprise Financial Services

Bear Community and Youth

I was just thinking about growing up as a teenager, and having the bear community as a constant reminder of a better future.

When I was in eighth grade, I was in my awkward stage. I gained a little bit of weight, my acne was at its worst, and I was in the closet.

Naturally, though many people seem to want to doubt it, I, like every other teenage boy, liked porn. But I never liked looking at disgusting-looking boys without a single hair on their chest. I gravitated towards bears, first for their looks, and then for their culture.

I found, and still find, bear culture beyond amazing. It’s a culture where people who are often seen as ugly are seen as sexy, and that makes me feel comfortable. I’ve always wanted a place in the bear community.

Sadly, for as long as I’ve known I was gay, I’ve always been a teenager. As much as being a part of the bear community in the future was certain, I’m of Russian decent, so chest hair is a given.

I still needed that connection in my awkward middle-teenage years more than at any other time. Sadly, the young gays are given no outreach or membership in the community, for obvious reasons. All I ever wished for, however, was a small piece of acceptance.

I feel that as teenagers are continuing to struggle with their sexualities and their places within the gay community, it should be the duty of the bear community to make its presence known, and to give teenagers hope for acceptance and love within the gay community, no matter what they may look like or act like. As much as I thank the bear community, I just wish that I could’ve been a part of it more.

As a gay teenager living just outside Minneapolis (the suburbs), and therefore, just outside of mainstream gay culture both in location and age, I greatly love Lavender for providing a way for me to stay connected to the community I was born into.

Skyler Dorr

Willkie Exhorts Reitan

In 2006, GLBT activist Jacob Reitan tried to enlist as an openly gay soldier. In the Star Tribune on December 19, he said, “Many of the 14,000 veterans who were kicked out will be eager to reenlist, and some of those who never joined because of it many will reconsider. You’re going to see a real uptick in recruitment numbers as a result of the ban being lifted.”

I am sure Reitan will be one of the first openly-gay soldiers to enlist. I recommend he join the Marines, and request going into the infantry in Afghanistan, where there was strong resistance to lifting the ban.

If Reitan gets killed, suffers from posttraumatic stress syndrome, and/or suffers permanent injury by having his limbs blown off, at least his family will know that it was for American freedom and GLBT equality.

Phil Willkie

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Logical

To paraphrase our First Lady on the day her hubby became President, “I am proud to be an American today!” Millions of us across the United States are thrilled to see the American “Berlin Wall” of prejudice and hatred fall with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

I am in my 60s, and I have watched our Armed Forces grudgingly accept Japanese-Americans, men of color, and women. Our defenses did not collapse, as the prejudicial fear-mongers predicted. Anyone who is passionate about serving this country should be allowed to serve—in all places, in all ways.

As Spock (Star Trek) would say, “It’s logical!”

Nancy Lanthier Carroll

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