Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, February 22, 2002 Page: 4 of 64
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3000 Corbie St., Suite 200, Dollas. Texas 75204
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NEWS & EDITORIAL
Adminislrorive Asas. 110
Daniel A. Kusner
Pop Music Critic
Contributing flm Critic
Keith N. Anderson
Luciano Segura III
NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE
Rlvendell Marketing Company
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The Associated Press
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A solution for post Valentine's Day blahs
Valentine's Day has
come and gone, and
people are in one of
two. moods: 1) bum-
med out because they
aren't in a relationship,
or 2) bummed out
because they are in a
Janelle DuBois VD, as it's often
Loose in Dallas . referred to by the
bummed out, just isn't what it used to be: It's
clear to me as a Girl Intellectual and Amateur
Social Engineer that what we need is a replace-
ment for Valentine's Day that more accurately
reflects the true state of love, sex, and dating.
My proposal is: out with Valentine's Day,
and in with Romantic Relationship Reality-
Instead of a day for overspending on dia-
monds and dinners out (for the Related) or
adult movies and alcohol (for the un-Related),
RRR Day would be designed to provide quiet
reflection, sober stock-taking and a moment's
peace from nauseating cutesy-wutesy-ness.
Every year on Romantic Relationship
Reality-Check Day, we'd each sit down by our-
selves, with friends or even with the Loved
One (for the daring!) and complete a Romantic
Relationship Reality Checklist, which would
look something like this:
Item #1: Am I in a Romantic Relationship?
If so, is the other person aware of it?
Item #2: Are we monogamous? "Sort of"
monogamous? Not asking and not telling? A
couple of shameless whores and we both
Item #3: Would I characterize my Romantic
Relationship as a: a) dream? b) nightmare? c)
Item #4: What's my Romantic Relationship
really worth to me? Would I be willing to break
up with my True Love for, say, $5 million? For
$5,000? For one night of passion with that hot
number who works at Home Depot?
Item #5: My greatest hope for my Romantic
Relationship is that we: a) Stay Together
Always, b) Try to Make It Work, c) Break Up
But Stay Friends, d) Break Up and I Get At
Least Some of My Stuff Back, or e) Break Up
and It Doesn't Cost Too Much to Get the Locks
I'll admit that filling out a Romantic
Relationship Reality Checklist might not be
fun, but then again, for most of us Valentine's
Day hasn't exactly been more fun that a barrel
of monkeys, or even half a barrel, for quite
some time now.
Besides, for fun— or at least Wretched
Excess, which can be fun in moderation —
there's always Mardi Gras.
Let's face it: there are times in life when you
just need to Get Real.
Special note to my S.O.: If Valentine's Day
does go away, I hope Snuggly-Wuggly doesn't
forget to send flowers and chocolates to
Pumpkiny-Wumpkiny on Romantic Relation-
ship Reality-Check Day — otherwise
Pumpkiny-Wumpkiny might hit the Ceilingy-
Weilingy like she did on Valentine's Day, and
we wouldn't want that, now, would we? T
Janelle DuBois (aka Tom Kinney) is a Dallas
drag performer, writer, and transgender rights
activist. E-mail her at email@example.com.
An Open Letter to President Bush
On the eve of your appointment of a new U.S.
Surgeon General, we are deeply concerned that the
standards set forth during the early months of your
presidency will be used in the appointment of this
most important federal health official.
The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
(GLMA) is always reluctant to engage in partisan
political issues. Our members — physicians, med-
ical students, psychologists, researchers, physician
assistants and many other health professionals —
have a wide range of political beliefs. When you
appointed former Governor Tommy Thompson as
Secretary of Health and Human Services, we were
encouraged by his record in Wisconsin and publicly
hopeful that he would bring a fair-minded
approach to matters of national health. When Scott
Evertz was appointed as Director of National AIDS
Policy, we countered criticism from other organiza-
tions that he had not the necessary depth of experi-
ence with the recommendation that we should wait
and judge him on his accomplishments.
Unfortunately, our optimism in both cases was
misplaced. The appointment of former U.S.
Representative Tom Coburn to head the President's
Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS — a person who
has made disparaging remarks about gays and les-
bians on the floor of Congress — sent an unfortu-
nate message to gay and bisexual men, who suffer
disproportionately from HIV/AIDS in the United
States. When it was learned that the federal govern-
ment was willing to bypass nondiscrimination laws
in order to fund faith-based organizations deliver-
ing health services, this sent a chilling message to
gay men and lesbians who might be at the mercy of
organizations that believe them to be unworthy or
When Secretary Thompson announced that the
U.S. government would fund abstinence-only pro-
grams, it was dear that the decision was not based
on scientifically proven criteria, but political factors.
In fact, this approach runs counter to the govern-
ment's own research. The ultimate irony is that
these programs require one to be abstinent until
marriage, a civil partnership endorsed by the gov-
ernment, but denied gay and lesbian people. To add
insult to this Catch 22 injury, new appointments to
the HIV/AIDS Advisory Council were comprised
mostly of abstinence-only proponents, and are sadly
lacking in expertise with regard to HIV/ AIDS treat-
ment or research.
Admittedly, we at GLMA are disappointed that
we weren't asked to help the administration find
experts who could have provided that expertise as
well as a higher level of sensitivity and cultural
competency with regard to HIV/AIDS. We are cer-
tainly not invisible. In the previous administration,
GLMA made significant contributions as a member
of the HP Consortium to Healthy People 2010, the
federal document that is the blueprint for health
care during this decade. GLMA membership repre-
sents a broad range and depth of medical and health
care knowledge and experience.
Our concern is not only that LGBT health is
being systematically neglected and this vulnerable
population increasingly marginalized, but that
health care itself has become a partisan issue. We
believe the appointment of the nation's top doctor
should be beyond party or religious ideology. A
recent Boston Globe editorial said, "The next surgeon
general has to be willing to sift out the politics, to
offend powerful leaders, and use the best public
health science to educate America." As both a gay
man and an African American, I understand disen-
franchisement and would iike to add to the Globe s
statement that it is also important for the next sur-
geon general to represent all of America's people.
We hope that the recent remarks by Secretary of
State Colin Powell recommending condom use for
the sexually active are indicative of a broader/more
tolerant and more evidence-based approach to
health care by the administration.
Christopher E. Harris, MD, president
Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
FEBRUARY 22, 2002
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, February 22, 2002, newspaper, February 22, 2002; Dallas, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth615980/m1/4/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.