Letters published February 2, 2005

Tranny Talk 

Letters published February 2, 2005

Tranny Talk
Courage comes in many forms:
I just read the article about one of your most courageous citizens: Mr. Jimmie Lee Smith ["Salem Witch Hunt," January 19]. Here in Florida, stories about personal integrity and victory over discrimination are few and far between. I don't understand transgender issues very well at all; yet, all people can identify with that sense of feeling different and isolated sometimes. And while Smith is portrayed as a hero in the piece, it occurs to me that there is an even larger hero: the citizenry of Salem, who were able to put their discomfort and hesitancy aside in order to find a way to accept someone so vastly different from them. In a country becoming increasingly nationalistic and isolated, it's heartening to learn that there's a pocket of intelligent, benevolent folk in Ohio who believe in the American right to be different.

So, from far away, I tip my hat to all of you -- to the firefighters, the unquoted officials, the little people and citizens secretly pulling for Smith's vindication and his right to pursue happiness. In doing so, you've helped to perpetuate my own happiness.

Jim Bloor
Oakland Park, Florida

Trapped in the wrong body: You made us look like we choose to be female instead of male. I would like to inform you that, in an attempt to talk about her, you made a big mistake and called her a him over and over! This is so upsetting to our kind that I could not even finish reading the article. Please apologize for that huge amount of disrespect.

Our type has gender-identity disorder, a medical condition that causes us to have a brain that is female in structure. Most people have their gender and sex match. We do not. We are female in every true sense of the word. Jimmie deserves respect and not media harassment -- even if unintentional. We are simply born with a gender that contradicts our sex; thus we have a birth defect and nothing more.

Annie Mac Gillis
Berea

Serendipity strikes: I greatly admired your article on Jimmie Lee Smith. I am in law school at the University of Toledo and had just selected her case to write a research paper about. I was having difficulty finding any in-depth information on her life until I came across your article. Seems you have done a lot of my research for me.

The article was very well written --maybe award-winning! Thanks again for a wonderful article.

Diane Rogers
Northwood, Ohio

The pronoun changes with the surgery: In light of Scene's demonstrated GLBTQ friendliness, I'm extraordinarily dismayed by the rampant masculine pronouns in the article on Jimmie Lee Smith. How does this help Jimmie Lee be accepted as a woman? Answer: It doesn't. And a Scene reporter with the first name of Chris should really know better.

Gillian Woldorf
Cleveland Heights

Sold American
The high cost of cheap:
Thanks so much for helping to bring this stuff into the open ["Leeches at the Gate," January 19]. Wal-Mart is ruining middle-class America at an alarming rate. It's killing even more jobs than you pointed out, however, through its pricing policies.

Wal-Mart used to advertise that it was an all-American company, selling products made by American workers, therefore creating jobs and making America a better place. At this point, though, it has grown so large that it dictates pricing to manufacturers. A lot of these factories have been forced to shut down their U.S. operations and move overseas in order to meet Wal-Mart's price demands. Where are the jobs it created now?

If I could get one message out to people, it would be to stop shopping there for good. I don't mind a bit if I have to pay 38 cents more for laundry detergent. That 38 cents is helping a hard-working American stay off welfare and saving me tax money.

Greg Harper
Cleveland

Worse than Wal-Mart: I'm responding to your critique of Wal-Mart: My mother works there. She likes her job. She likes her company. They encourage her to advance and give frequent raises. In fact, she's had more raises than I have at the respectable local business where I work.

Why don't you crack down on the local businessmen driving the BMWs, who pay their employees less and offer no health benefits, no incentives, no bonuses -- nothing other than a job with no security?

Barbara Bies
Brecksville

Been There
One mother to another:
I have a 24-year-old son diagnosed with schizophrenia, so I related to many of the experiences of Joan Sauer ["Medicated to Death," January 12]. Diagnosing is the first hurdle, because the disease typically manifests in the late teens, when behavior changes in most teenagers. Finding the right medication is crucial; newer classes of drugs have fewer side effects.

My son is now living on his own, working, and doing well, thanks to quality health-care professionals and friends and family who really listened and learned about the disease. There are still many misconceptions out there, with people not being properly diagnosed and treated, leading to tragedies like Tom Sauer's. My heart goes out to that family.

Anne M. Hersh
Concord

Correction
In the 2005 Resolution Guide, Scene inadvertently used a photo of Shuhei in Solon to illustrate a listing for Shuhei in Beachwood. We regret the error.

  • Letters published February 2, 2005

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