TO THE EDITOR: Every year when the Mercury's "Gay Issue" comes out, I find myself listening to some humorless, oversensitive compassion whore whining about the offensive characterization of a beleaguered and misunderstood community. But this year, I actually got bothered, too. In the "What Kind of Gay Are You?" feature [June 23], the writers attempt to wring wit out of a tired list of stereotypes, sometimes successfully.

What offended me, though, were not the (trite) pedophile or soccer lesbian types, it was the inclusion of football coaches and police. In those two cases, there was nothing else going on except an effort to belittle authority figures. You did it by resorting to the cheapest insult around: You called them gay.

You're clearly just slinging mud at all the assholes you hated in high school by calling them the dirtiest thing you can--gay. That's really NOT cool, and it really DOES perpetuate negative attitudes about homosexuality.

John Wilmot

TO THE EDITOR: My name is Alvin Ang and I'm a Malaysian exchange student. I arrived in Portland in January, and have been staying with the Escudero family and attending Centennial High School, Gresham.

As the semester will soon be over, I will return home to Malaysia. I am writing to you to express my thanks to everyone here who helped to make my experience so great. First and foremost, thanks must go to my generous hosts, Freddie, Jocelyn and Kris Escudero who have opened their home to me. They made me feel like their real "son" this past semester, and to them I will always be grateful.

I'd also like to thank the people of Portland, Oregon, who welcomed me into the community, showed great interest and curiosity about me and my country, and did their best to make me feel at home away from home.

I hope other exchange students will have the opportunity I had here. You are very special people who made an impact in my life and I will always remember you. Thank you.


TO THE EDITOR: Oh my god. I can't believe you let Katie Shimer review Mysterious Skin [Film, June 23]. That film was one of the most engrossing and inventive films in years. Culled from a book that was deemed "unfilmable," Gregg Araki rose to the occasion and crafted a complex and amazing film that deserves praise for handling a tough subject with three-dimensional vision. If Ms. Shimer was "bored" during the screening, I suggest she stop taking prescription drugs and having a three martini lunch prior to her viewings. I say don't send a high straight girl to do a fag's job. Peace out, bitches.


TO THE MERCURY: [RE: "I, Anonymous," June 23] Fuck you, Mr. "I hate mojitos" bartender! Who are you to say people in Portland shouldn't drink rum? What?!? Don't you earn your living making drinks for people? Doesn't variety make your job more interesting? Your advice is to "order a gin and tonic"? That's a unique and exciting summer option! I'm sure you'd like to spend the entire summer making gin and tonics for every customer that comes in your bar. I'm not afraid to admit that I don't like gin, but I'm not going to insult the people who do. I respect choice. The reason mojitos have become popular is because they are extremely yummy and refreshing. So, get off your lazy ass and make one!


BECAUSE THE MERCURY hates lazy bartenders, too, VM wins our "Letter of the Week!" prize pack, which includes two tix to the Laurelhurst, two passes to see The Briefs at Dante's on July 21, and a $30 dinner at No Fish! Go Fish! (where the bartenders never bitch about doing their jobs).