Twenty-five years ago, I met my husband in San Francisco. Shortly thereafter while having dinner with a friend who happened to be straight, she told us she wanted us at her wedding, but did not want us to dance together as some guests may not be happy with it. Hmm.
My husband calmly placed both hands on the table and firmly stated: “I will not have straight people telling me how to live my life.”
Twenty-five years later, despite all the struggles for equality, marriage freedom, intellectual growth and community acceptance, we face the same issue. I’ve read many letters to the editor this past month and realized why I am still afraid to hold my husband’s hand while walking down the street.
George King ("I'll remember those who supported this," June 25): you bring up a good point. You are in the majority and we are the minority. Isn’t this exactly why we, the minority, have to be whiny? In order to be heard. Knowing there are small-minded people trying to make the welcoming city of Napa a place of exclusion is a good reason to speak out. George, Napa is better than that, and so are you, and our supportive council members know it. Open your eyes and your heart to the great freedom of acceptance and love for all people, no matter who they love.
Margaret Crotty ("No longer family-friendly," June 13): You complain that the Pride flag makes Napa not very family friendly. What about my family? How did you determine that family means only straight people? I think of all the gay and straight families with gay and straight children who are being raised here in Napa. We need the city’s loud and proud statement that all people are welcome in Napa. That is what the flag stands for, my family included.
John S. Compoginis ("How is this fit for the front page?" June 11): Why are you so threatened by men in drag? We grew up with the comedian Milton Berle (doing drag in the '40s and '50s) and movies like White Christmas where men are dressed in drag doing a musical revue. This is an American classic. Do you complain about it as well?
Roseanne Maki ("Why not seek public input?," June 7): You would reduce the pride flag to gay sex? The flag stands for inclusivity of all people, of all colors, of all genders, of all sexual orientations being welcome. We simply want what you have: the ability to have sex without condemnation or prejudice.
Doris Gentry: At the council meeting I struggled with why you called the pride flag a “social issue.” Are you really not aware of the level of discrimination that still exists in our city? Have you not read the letters to the editor this month? You also brought up your abusive foster family childhood experience.
Many of us, gay and straight, have been abused, and I’m not sure how this is relevant to the issue of inclusion and freedom. You stated the American flag stands for inclusiveness of all people, but the lived reality for most gay people is we are not included, welcomed, nor allowed to be free. We still experience discrimination, even here in Napa.
Please understand: I would rather not fly the Pride flag anymore. I want it to go away. I want it to become unnecessary. Until all people can understand the terrible unwelcome plight most of us live with daily, and allow us the freedom to be who we are without fear or prejudice, the pride flag should fly. I can’t help but think of John Lennon’s song “Imagine:” I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one.
Thank you to every council member who voted 'yes.' I will remember. I will never forget your willingness to tell me it is okay for me to live, breathe, and love freely in Napa. I will be forever grateful for the straight people in leadership who want me and my husband, my family, to be part of Napa. Thank you
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