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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Renslow, Trump, Dyke March
2017-07-12

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Saying goodbye

Dear editor:

Chuck Renslow, rest in peace.

One thing I am certain about Chuck was his love for this very diversified community. Was he perfect? No, he was not perfect, but he was a good person. Like Harvey Milk, Renee Hanover and Marie Kuda, he committed his life to the welfare of his community and understood that change was hard work. He walked the talk.

Chuck was not about self-aggrandizement; his gaze was not on black-tie events and publically beating his chest about his accomplishments, which spoke for themselves with a quite dignity.

My brother, rest in peace. Your leadership will be missed and will leave a vacuum in our community.

To Chuck's family and friends: He accomplished much, helped many people and gave voice to those who had no voice in our community. This is what it means to love your neighbor. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless.

Joe Murray

Executive Director

Rainbow Sash Movement ( LGBTQ Roman Catholics )

* * * *

Trump twist

The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association ( IGLTA ) is facing controversy after welcoming three Trump hotels as members. Below first is a letter from IGLTA responding to the controversy, followed by a member's response.

Dear Mark [Goldstein],

Thank you for your patience with your inquiry about the memberships with the Trump Hotels.

IGLTA is a member-based travel association promoting LGBTQ friendly travel options. IGLTA also aims to support and educate businesses that want to better respond to the needs of LGBTQ clients.

The Trump-branded properties that are current members of IGLTA are independently owned hotels and not owned by Mr Trump.

Information from the three Trump hotel members of IGLTA:

—Of the three properties that are IGLTA members, two have been with the organization since 2012.

—Trump SoHo is owned by a California-based real-estate investment company.

—Trump International Hotel & Tower New York and Chicago are condo hotels where each unit is individually owned.

—These properties have hosted numerous same sex weddings in its banquet and event space.

Their catering sales associates have also completed the Gay Wedding Institute Certification Course to better serve the LGBT wedding market.

Tony Warner,

Controller, IGLTAM

Response:

Thanks, Tony. I appreciate your attention and getting back to me with this information.

As you can imagine, this explanation that you have offered is not going to go far to placate people's feelings about sharing membership with destinations flying the Trump name.

We personally will no longer participate in the IGLTA as long as any business that uses the Trump name is a member.

I wholeheartedly ask that you remove them as members, even with the explanation that they have hosted gay weddings … that truly is a very weak explanation as to why they are an accepted member of a strong Gay and Lesbian organization.

I have to say that I am beyond surprised that I will need to put energy into fighting this when there are so many other battles that we are fighting against the stigma on our society that is the Trump administration.

I think it is horrible that the explanation given is all that IGLTA is offering, and I can only hope that when this becomes a far more exposed story that you and the board will do better then this.

I'm keeping this professional because that is how I approached you and that is how I want to leave this, but know that I am raging and angry and will be doing more to let other members and the media know about this.

The board knows that Trump's money has ties to these hotels, how could it not?

Even if there is just one drop of his blood mixed in with this, it is one drop too many.

He is disgusting and surely will be on the wrong side of history as to anything decent or moral and so shame on the IGLTA for fostering anything what so ever to do with him.

Mark Goldstein,

Owner, Prana Rainforest Retreat,

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, www.pranarainforestretreat.com .

* * * *

A message re Dyke March

Esteemed Editors Davis and Simonette:

I write to you in response to G. R. Hammond's article in the June 28 issue regarding the banning of Jewish flags at the Chicago Dyke March.

First and foremost, I took a few days to vent my ire and to collect my thoughts regarding such article.

I consider myself multicultural. I am an American, born in New York. My parents were born in Puerto Rico. My faith is Judaism. My orientation is gay. I am 49 years old, and am a lead security officer and my two directors have been Skokie Police Department leaders.

Why this introduction? Because I am so tired of being the victim, individually or collectively, for being who I am. You see, people treat me well or antagonistically, based on their prejudices and as they see whatever part of me they focus on.

Whether in my personal or professional life, I have had to struggle with bullying in all forms, from young and old alike, from the ignorant to the elite. I have lived and struggled with depression and anxiety, persistent mood disorders which are exacerbated by such harassments.

Regarding my orientation, I am a late bloomer, and the road from knowing to acceptance has been painful and complex, to say the least. I remain in a mixed-orientation marriage as I continue to sort out the puzzle of life.

Therefore, it greatly troubles me that Jewish flags in a gay parade were publicly and disgracefully banned.

It is sickening to be subjected to such acts of discrimination in 2017! Everybody has differing opinions of every sort, but what unites us all is the long, very long worldwide struggle to live free as part of the LGBT community, regardless of additional adjectives.

I do not care for after-the-fact explanations of what was meant by anti-Zionist, -Jewish or -Israel sentiments. Discrimination is all-encompassing and self explanatory.

To the Dyke March Chicago/Collective entity I say unequivocally and in no uncertain terms, you are pure trash, well beyond what anti gay forces are; you should know how it feels to be smashed by others. We are under constant political attacks nationwide, and banning Jews is what you choose to accentuate!

I stand in solidarity with the three banned Jewish Dyke March participants!

I am an American, Puerto Rican, Jewish and gay man; you cannot put me in the hellish closet I came out of at all.

Shame on you!

Brian Shookman


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