Dear Tell All: I have to respond to Grownup, who wrote that astronaut Sally Ride's lesbianism was irrelevant and something she had no obligation to discuss publicly ("Not Everything Is About Sex," 9/20/2012). I think he is missing the point. I agree with your original response to Challenger, who expressed disappointment that Ride never came out in her lifetime ("Sally Ride Is No Hero," 9/6/2012).
Sally Ride grew up in a different time. And we all know that times change. When I was growing up, the most frequent message I heard was that gay people are promiscuous and can't form committed relationships. I never imagined I would hear of the topic of gay marriage in my lifetime.
I never did have people I looked up to who were "different," like me. Having role models - people in the public eye who are open about their affectional orientation (a term I prefer because, no, it isn't all about sex) - does at least two things. It tells LGBT kids that there are people like you who are living happy lives and doing amazing things. It also tells straight kids that there are people who aren't like you and are doing great things; and although they are different, you can still look up to them.
In this time when we frequently hear of LGBT youth suicides on the news, these positive messages are obviously needed.
Not Just About Sex
Dear Tell All: I can't believe the recent letters weighing the relative sexiness of vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and President Obama ("Paul Ryan Is So Cute!," 8/23/2012; and "Paul Ryan, Sexy? Blecch!," 9/13/2012). These are political clowns we're talking about, not underwear models. What is wrong with people that they will vote for the "babe"? These are lying, cheating, grifting, sanctioned criminals who are trying to force their views on we the sheeple.
Beautiful smile? White teeth? I'd vote for Quasimodo if I actually thought he could save this country from going down the toilet.