While I am happy as a gay man in my male birth-body, I so identified with Eva Hayward's understanding that our gender and our sexuality are constantly evolving. Thank you so much for her important and eloquent piece, "Changing attitudes about changing sex: The subtle process of transformation" [Sept. 5].
Hayward has debunked two (somewhat incompatible) theories about gender and sexuality. First, the more simplistic notion that if you have a penis, you're male, and if you have a vagina, you're female. Period. End of discussion. Second, that there is a spectrum from 100 percent heterosexual at one end to 100 percent homosexual at the other end and that everyone's sexuality can be pinpointed—permanently—somewhere along that line. The latter theory does not allow for movement along the spectrum, nor does it deal with gender as separate from sexuality, as Hayward explains.
I too grew up with "every movement of [my] body, from posture to sneezes, [being] self-considered because ... people habitually sex these things." I was taunted for how I carried my books, how I threw a ball—"throws like a girl"—and how I responded to the command "Look at your fingernails." The boys who curled their fingers inward, palm up, were real boys; the boys who splayed their fingers outward, palm down, were queer.
Yes, I can "imagine the fatigue" of growing up because every movement, every action and every thought was second-guessed. Not only was it exhausting, but it robbed me of spontaneity and the joy that comes with it. Growing up isolated and alone is hell. Thanks to Eva Hayward, we are all a little more knowledgeable, all a little wiser.
South Boston, Va.
I read the Indy article about the cannibalized apartment project in Raleigh at Dixie Trail and Hillsborough Street ["Stanhope-less: How a lovely village plan in West Raleigh blew up," Aug. 1]. This development looks like an incarceration center to me. But also, look at recent developments in Raleigh such as at Six Forks Road near North Hills and high-rise condo/ apartment buildings near Glenwood South as well as on Oberlin Road and Wade Avenue. The ugliest, uninspiring architecture I've ever seen in my life.
Raleigh is allowing brand-new eyesores to be built, and what is interesting to me is that most of these developments come from out-of-town developers. No local pride here! Raleigh has had very little style in its architecture, but the latest crop of abominations top the scale for mindless, ugly building. If this is truly OK with the Raleigh leadership and insiders, then let's put some of these monster buildings up adjacent to the Carolina Country Club, on St. Mary's Street and on White Oak Road so that residents of these pristine areas can look out their windows at the same new, state-of-the-art blight the rest of us get to see every day.
In 2010, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers rode an emotional wave and low voter turnout in the 2nd District to nip incumbent Congressman Bob Etheridge by less than 1,500 votes.
Since her narrow victory, Congresswoman Ellmers has rarely been seen in person by her constituents as she's held relatively few Town Hall meetings in the district. However, Ellmers does make regular appearances both on television alongside Speaker John Boehner and on glossy mailers she sends consistently to the district with information regarding her "work" inside the beltline.
We need less shiny flyers and more value delivered to the constituents from our representative in Washington. As a local official, I want to see our representative spend more time visiting Goldston, Pittsboro and Siler City as well as the other municipalities in the 2nd District and less time spent on shiny flyers, trips and television appearances.
We deserve attention from our political leaders, and our communities need investment. These investments help build the necessary infrastructure that finances the American Dream. On Nov. 6, support candidates who believe that investing in our communities is not only sound policy but the right thing to do.
Mayor of Pittsboro
President Obama is climbing up that mountain one agonizing step at a time. The ball and chain around his waist is the hate, fear, greed and ignorance of the right wing, who almost destroyed our economy and certainly our moral standing in the eyes of the world. He will get to the mountaintop, and when he does, we will emerge from this right-wing, Rovian Dark Age into the 21st century, where intellect and decency will be restored and revered!
Come on—surely you can be more creative than this? Showing wasted youth with PBR cans strewn at their feet [Sept. 5 cover] is a celebration of Hopscotch? I'll bet your sponsors will have something to say about this. You can't have it both ways.
Lisa Grele Barrie