Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Homophobia runs rampant at UA

In response to recent letters in the Mailbag, we are quite appalled by the level of overt homophobia/anti-gay attitude expressed. A gay frat would be a great idea, if for no other reason than the gay community of this college is already made to feel so isolated and alone, and some sort of fellowship couldn't hurt.

As far as AIDS cases goes, it is horrendously errant and arrogant to assume that gay men living together automatically means they will sleep together or they will engage in unprotected sex. Women and men can live together and not sleep together, yet gay men can't? How pretentious of an assumption!

It is also worth mentioning to those that don't know that AIDS affects all people, not just gay people. In fact, statistically speaking, of all communities, the one being hardest hit (i.e., at the most increasing rate of AIDS cases today) is in fact not gay men, but African-American women. And that is just a statistic - not a statement about an entire community of people, as far too many letters have done. Other such appalling opinions are that homosexuals can't be monogamous or are promiscuous. The homosexuals I know are actually far classier than some of the rather promiscuous men and women I've come in contact with on this campus. Heck, we come from one of the most prejudiced redneck towns in this state, and we still support the creation of a gay fraternity because everybody deserves a chance to surround themselves with like-minded individuals.

Dane Velasquez & Melissa Henderson
engineering freshman/undeclared freshman

HIV stats don't support stereotypes

In response to Mr. Deininger's opposing views to the formation of a homosexual-based fraternity, I believe he has merged factual HIV/AIDS statistics with a presumptuous imagination. I too have visited the NIAID Web site, found the statistics Mr. Deininger cites to be true, but nowhere did I find articles showing gay frats or organizations to be a cause for the proliferation of HIV and AIDS.

In truth, Mr. Deininger, the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus is responsibility- based. It is the responsibility of any and all individuals engaging in sexual activities to communicate. It is the responsibility of heterosexuals and homosexuals alike to ask the sometimes-awkward question, "When was the last time you were tested?" People choosing to engage in sexual activity without really knowing who they are sleeping with are more likely to be helping in the spread of HIV and AIDS than a gay fraternity.

Also, Mr. Deininger, perhaps it would be beneficial if you did become involved in some sort of GLBT-linked group. It would seem very hard to comment on a group of people in which you have little to no connection. You are probably too late to volunteer for the Pride Alliance's free HIV testing on such short notice. You could look for the next upcoming date, but then again, I guess that would be another responsibility issue.

Gregory Robustelli
undeclared sophomore

AIDS intolerance "hateful," "foolish"

Earth to Nick Deininger: Wake up and smell the 21st century! First of all, I would like to applaud you on having the impudence to write to the Wildcat and publicly announce your intolerance and discrimination. Second, this is 2004 and any sexually active adult, regardless of orientation, is well aware of the dangers of unprotected sex. I am glad you were able to use a computer to find meaningless facts for your argument. I am sorry, but I didn't find any statistics, and I use the word loosely, about the prevalence of HIV among homosexual men in the one Web site you found. That's right, you didn't have one.

Sorry, my little sophomore, but here is your first lesson about writing a letter to the paper. Don't create your own facts; it only makes you look foolish. I have spent a lot of my time in the past few years as an HIV/AIDS advocate. I taught HIV/AIDS education for months in Tanzania, Africa. I have lobbied in Washington, D.C. on foreign and domestic HIV/AIDS policy and I am even a part of the first chapter of Student Global AIDS Campaign here at the UA. Please learn a little more about your passions and about real life before you belittle others. Statistics are just numbers, and it is obvious you need to get out more.

World AIDS Day is today, so maybe you should visit the Pride Alliance activities and get some real information from one of biggest advocates on campus. A big hooray to Pride Alliance, Students for International Change, Student Global AIDS Campaign, Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, the Student Health Advisory Committee and ASUA, the real heroes and HIV/AIDS advocates in Tucson! And a big shame on you, Nick, for your lack of support and meaningless, hurtful stereotypes. We don't need approval from people like you!

Amber Rice
physiology and anthropology senior