Saturday, June 06, 2015

Letter to the Editor



Continuing with my recent politically incorrect theme, yesterday my letter to the editor was published in our local paper, the Cape Gazette. 

My letter was in response to a letter to the editor by a gay man named Lee Whitman who felt the Rehoboth Beach police were unfairly enforcing the noise ordinance against gays and their pool parties. 

I'll reproduce Mr. Whitman's letter first then my letter in response.  

Mr. Whitman's letter:

Example letter of lash out against Rehoboth


Editor’s Note: The following is an example of the 30 or more similar letters received on the subject this week. An article on the issue appeared in the Friday, May 29 edition.

Dear Mayor Cooper, City Commissioners, City Manager Lynn: While I agree with the sentiments in the group letter which follows below, I would like to point out the financial benefit our presence has in your city. Gay DINK households have an extraordinary amount of spending power. That spending power can be redirected easily, and there is already talk of doing so.
Yes, the letter below has been submitted by many individuals. But those individuals are well-connected individuals. Among them are doctors, lawyers, a CNN producer, staff members of the Washington Post, members of the current presidential administration, and a three-time Emmy Award winner.
We are skilled. We are talented. And if we continue to feel persecuted we could easily pull every gay dollar from your city. Not just the money from those that were there this weekend, but all gay dollars. Every. Last. One. Social media is a powerful tool, and we know how to utilize it. See: the “It Gets Better” project, the “No Hate” photography experience, and gay marriage.
This is not meant to be a threat but rather a blunt wake-up call. While I love your city and consider it a second home, there is no excuse for the tactics that were utilized by your police force this weekend. None.
I hope you will seriously reconsider the new laws that have been enacted and the select enforcement of other ordinances. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Lee Whitman 
Rehoboth Beach

My response:

Whitman doesn't speak for every gay man

After I read Lee Whitman’s letter that was printed in the May 29 issue of the Cape Gazette I was outraged, shocked, offended and even angry at the arrogance and stupidity of the letter writer. Rarely have I seen such hubris nakedly displayed in a publication by an individual who at least had the courage to sign his own name to his threatening letter (and yes, it was a threat), unlike other letter writers who requested that their names not be printed because “of their jobs,” which, by the way fellas, you can come out now; it is 2015, time to stop hiding in the closet.
Mr. Whitman states that “gay DINK (dual income, no kids) households have an extraordinary spending power.” For the record, I am gay and have lived in a DINK household for the past 50 years. But we don’t have an “extraordinary amount of spending power.” But then, we’re not “Washington, D.C. gays” (we’re Philadelphia - another whole class of “the gays.”)
I have to be careful that I don’t stray too far off the subject in this letter, but I do want to make the point that in the so-called “gay community” there are different gradients, as well as in other cities. In some ways we have an “Upstairs, Downstairs” demographic. “Washington, D.C.” gays are a whole component by themselves. I know some Washington, D.C. gays (retired) and they are perfectly fine, and some are even friends of mine, but then I know of others who are so full of themselves that it’s almost like a joke because of their snobbery and cliquish behavior toward other members of the community, both gay and straight, who don’t travel in the same rarefied social circles as they imagine they do.
Mr. Whitman proves that when he says: “Those individuals [referring to those who wrote letters to the Cape Gazette claiming selective enforcement - against the LGBT community - of the noise ordinance] are well-connected individuals [of the “Do you know who I am?” variety obviously] … among them are doctors, lawyers, a CNN producer, staff members of the Washington Post, members of the current presidential administration and . . . (are you sitting down for this?) a three-time Emmy Award winner.” Well, la de dah!
Then Mr. Whitman compounds his hubris by writing: “We are skilled. We are talented. And if we continue to feel persecuted we could easily pull every gay dollar from your city. Not just money from those that were there this weekend, but all gay dollars. [Then Mr. Whitman really gets full of himself here and says] “Every. Last. One.” Now Mr. Whitman’s next statement is the whole that takes the cake - and dare I say is worth an Emmy award for absolute pure arrogance: “This is not meant to be a threat, but a wake-up call.” What a breathtakingly stupid and asinine remark to make.
Mr. Whitman absolutely did make a threat. . . to pull every gay dollar out of the city.
Well, I want to make it clear that my gay dollars will continue to be spent in Rehoboth Beach and its environs (Lewes, and Milton and yes, even Millsboro - B.J.’s).
Mr. Whitman Does. Not. Speak. For. This. Gay. Man. nor my DINK household. While my DINK household doesn’t have the “extraordinary” amount of spending power (two Social Security checks and a modest pension payment), we see no reason to boycott Rehoboth Beach just because a group of self-important, full of themselves (Three-time Emmy Award winner!) phonies (who just happen to be gay) from Washington, D.C. were hampered from letting their hair down (those who have hair) screaming and hollering at their pool parties in Rehoboth Beach Memorial Day weekend.
This past week a friend from Toronto, Canada (also gay, but also not an “extraordinary spending power” gay) visited me for a week. On Memorial Day Sunday we happened to be walking down one of the neighborhood streets (I forget which one) and we witnessed firsthand (or heard firsthand) one of these pool parties. While I don’t know if the participants were gay or straight (or care), the party was loud. And I mean loud.
And this was about six o’clock in the evening in an otherwise quiet neighborhood. I have to admit that if I was living in one of the adjoining houses I would probably have called the police to enforce the noise level. Of course I knew I would run the risk that my gay card would be called, but hey, how about some respect for your neighbors, Mr. Whitman?
My Canadian friend and I managed to have a perfectly good time while visiting Rehoboth Beach, and not once did we feel the need to loudly yell and scream to show others what a fabulous time we were having. We also had a fabulous time but didn’t disturb anyone while spending our money in Rehoboth (restaurants, parking and Old Time Photo; we walked by Aqua but decided not to go in - too loud).
We spent money while we were in Rehoboth (ate out every night) and will do the same thing next year regardless of Mr. Whitman’s threat to pull Every. Gay. Dollar. out of Rehoboth unless he and his friends can scream their heads off at their pool parties, trying to impress those passing by with what an absolutely fabulous time they were having.
You don’t speak for this gay man, Mr. Whitman. You need to get over yourself and your self-important la de dah attitude and have some respect for your fellow citizens, both gay and straight.
Ron Tipton
Milton 

Now of course I fully realize I am in danger of losing my gay card but I just could not let Mr. Whitman's arrogance go without comment. I couldn't help myself,  I just had to puncture his brazen display of pomposity.  How dare he speak for me. I'll spend my gay dollars wherever I damn well please. Granted, I probably don't have as many gay dollars to spend as Mr. Whitman and his "do you know who I am" gay friends do. Pinch me, but some of these Washington D.C. gays would be right at home with those Hollywood phonies who issue command that common folk like us are not to make eye contact with them.  As Mr. Whitman states he has a "three-time Emmy award winner" among their group of weekend pool frolickers. 

I also come at this subject from another angle other than puncturing the balloon of pomposity that Mr. Whitman so nakedly sets himself up to be a fool.  When Bill and I lived in Pennsylvania, we had neighbors who had a pool.  We lived in the country in the middle of the woods.  We choose that location for the peace and tranquility. 

About five years later our neighbor and his land was sold and sub-divided.  The new owners of the lot next to us built a mini-mansion and a pool.  And yes, they had pool parties . . . . LOTS of them.  Bill and I endured the pool parties for a while then we finally had to call the police when one particular pool Toga party went on into the early morning hours.  Oh sure, the party goers were having a grand time but we couldn't get any sleep.  

And the pool parties at night weren't the only problem.  During the day our new neighbor's kids would be in the pool with their friends.  Their little boy wasn't bad but their little girl was a SCREAMER.  Remember the song "Marianne"? Their little girl's name was Stephanie.  

All day, all night Stephanie
Screaming at the pool, Stephanie

For about five years Bill and I endured the agony of her ear piercing screams . . . . All.Day.Long.  And you know how I feel about screaming kids, especially girls.  

So folks, I can empathize with those neighborhood folks in Rehoboth Beach who want to enjoy the peace and tranquility of their neighborhood and not the screams of a bunch of self-absorbed Washington D.C. queens (oh yes, I AM being politically incorrect . . . again).  And I don't care how many Emmys they won.





29 comments:

  1. Your assholery continues to rule your life. Shut up Ron, you are giving gays a bad name

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    1. Jan,
      You have proved my point. Thank you.
      Ron

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    2. Ron, your charm and insight must hold some great attraction for Jan.
      I hope Jan keeps reading your blog - "she" might learn something.

      Delete
    3. Jan - You are quite rude.

      Melissa

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    4. Jon,
      I think you're right, I hold some kind of attraction for Jan. Has to be my erudite charm.
      Ron

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    5. Melissa,
      I'm not sure if Jan is pulling my leg or is serious. I have to give her credit for at last putting her real name (if it is, I've been fooled before by people on the Internet making up names). If she is serious I don't understand why she is so upset with me. How can anyone not like me?
      Ron

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  2. Ron, I probably shouldn't have made such a harsh comment about Jan, but every once in awhile I get pissed.
    (why so bitter? Man hater? Frustrated Lesbian??........)

    I, for one, think your letter to the editor was brilliant and said it all. I've known a helluva lot of pompous, self-righteous queens in Hollywood and they give gays a bad name.
    Did Mr. Whitman ever consider the fact that enough LOUD gay pool parties might force the wealthy straights to move out of the community?

    Well, I've said enough. It's fun to ruffle feathers now and then, isn't it?

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    1. Jon,
      I've had my share encounters with "pompous, self righteous queens during my lifetime and I LOVE to ruffle their feathers. Rehoboth (which ironically means "room for all") has more than it's share of these queens (which is what they are, political correctness be damn). I thought when I moved to Rehoboth, with its large gay population (almost all older lesbians and gay men) that I would find all these new friends and be welcomed. But that didn't happen. I met some nice people but I was excluded. I remember one revealing moment. This person who I thought was a friend was having a Christmas party. I foolishly assumed I would go to the party but he told me "Actually Ron, you wouldn't be comfortable with them. But you can help me in the kitchen before the party to prepare the food." Nice. Of course that "friendship" ended. I obviously didn't meet his social criteria for attending his Christmas party of Washington D.C. types. I knew I was uncouth and not all that polished but I didn't think I was THAT bad. Of course my feelings were hurt at the time but now that I look back on it, I find it amusing. He's right, I wouldn't be comfortable with THAT crowd.
      Ron

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  3. Ron, I'm only seeing this after making a reply to your comment on your previous posting. I can see that there's a lot on your mind at the moment which you feel is deserving to your attention, so don't bother about me until after the dust settles on the above subject.

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    1. Ray,
      I'm alright. I don't have any more on my mind now than I usually do. (smile)
      Ron

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  4. Ron
    Just one word said loud and clear. BRAVO!

    Jacl

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  5. Ron your letter to the Cape Gazette is wonderful. I have not seen such a good Checkmate response as yours was to such a trite, ridiculous and pompous attitude exposed in Mr. Whitman's letter. Certain folks like Mr. Whitman obviously don't have much regard for the rights of their neighbours to enjoy a reasonable peace in their homes. Anybody who wants to defend bad behaviour by making real or idle threats is, in my mind, pathetic. And anyone wanting to defend people who make these kind of threatening remarks are clueless. I certainly think that you have the majority of people on your side on this one Ron - regardless of sexual orientation, gender etc etc.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      Well said. Thank you.
      Ron

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  6. That was an excellent letter that you wrote and I am so glad they printed it. Sounds like Jan must have been at one of those parties.

    Melissa

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    1. Melissa,
      I seriously don't know why Jan is calling me names. Maybe she'll reveal her reasons in future comments. Whatever, I wish her well.
      Ron

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  7. Anonymous4:29 PM

    Ms. Gold field, your comment was mean spirited. I also found Mr. Whitman's comments some what self absorbed. You know, the me me I'm first variety. Well age will catch up and hopefully he will mellow. Your right to be loud and boisterous ends at the tip of my ear. I think if you are having an event and it is impacting your neighbor you need to reconsider your event. Perhaps the impacted neighbor had tried to redirect some of the party's energy and was met with Mr. Whitman's attitude by other attendees, how inconsiderate! Let's hope that Mr. Whitman's dollars do stay in Rehoboth, but if they don't I'm sure he will find some other shallow pond to play in. That snarkyness was intentional. After all I am a Queen.

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    1. Anonymous,
      What really got me about Mr. Whitman's letter was his threat (and it was a threat, regardless of what he says) that Every.Gay.Dollar will be taken out of Rehoboth Beach. How dare he speak for me, or Bill or any number of my friends who aren't in his exclusive circle of 3 time Emmy award winning friends. And, by the way, I always love ruffling the feathers of a self-absorbed, arrogant, selfish, clueless queen.
      Ron

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  8. Hi Ron, Can I stir the puddin' too? It would seem to me no matter what shade you are in the rainbow one doesn't have to be a horse's a$$ to be fabulous. I guess some people just have more money that class. If you have an estate miles out in the country be as loud as you want.

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    1. Randy,
      I couldn't resist responding to that pompous ass who was so clueless that he thought he could speak for all gays. He doesn't speak for me, but then I don't have any Emmy awards.
      Ron

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  9. I only disagree with one line in your letter, the last one of the first paragraph.

    Yes, this is 2015, but there are MANY LGBTQ individuals who live in places where you can be fired from your job simply for being gay. I live in one of those states. I have friends in others. Many others live in places far less accepting and tolerant than Virginia. For many of those, coming out simply isn't an option. While they don't work for Catholic schools, or private Christian schools, they may well work for conservative, Christofacist bosses who would never tolerate a GAY MAN or LESBIAN working in HIS DEPARTMENT (or office or store, you get the idea). So while many of us have come out of the closet (in my case, as much as possible), others simply cannot, given the state of the economy for many. Maybe some people can afford to lose a job, and have a safety net to cover them if they are targets of this type of bigotry. But others do not (as I timidly raise my hand). When it comes to coming out, please do not assume that just because you have, and paid your dues, others can afford those dues.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      Believe me, I understand the plight of many gays who cannot come out openly as gay for fear of losing their jobs. I myself have lost two very good jobs because I was openly gay. But if I had it to do all over again I would. The only time I couldn't com out openly as a gay man was when I was in the Army and working at the National Security Agency. I didn't ask to have a top secret clearance nor did I ask to work for the Army Security Agency or be assigned to the National Security Agency. For the two and a half years that I was stationed at Ft. Meade I was in the closet. If I was openly gay I would lose my security clearance and be dismissed from the Army. Of course now the rules have changed but back in the early Sixties (1960-1963) this country was still in the Dark Ages as to its treatment of gay people. These days I would not work at any place that would discriminate against me as a gay man. Of course this is my personal decision and I do not presume to make decisions for other gay men and women. That is their decision to make. But what I can say and what Harvey Milk said is that if every gay man and woman came out at the same time homophobia would disappear overnight. And, you might be surprised that when you do come out it isn't a big deal. But, as I said, this is a very personal decision and every gay man and woman at some time in their life has to make that decision. But once you do, I think you'll find the sense of freedom and having that burden lifted from your shoulders is so worth it, even if it does mean losing your job (like I did when I went from a bank operations manager job at $35,000 a year to pulling weeds at a businesswoman's estate for $8.45 an hour - this was in 1998). But I made a recovery and got a hotel job at $9.00 an hour (worked my way back to $11.00 an hour) and then another banking job at $15.00 an hour (from a man who didn't care whether I was gay or not). My life has been quite a journey Jay. As Frank Sinatra said (or more accurately sang) "I Did It My Way."
      Ron

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  10. Ron, the ultimate Scorpio.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      Exactly!
      Ron

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  11. Your letter to the newspaper was an eloquent response to a pompous, arrogant idiot who appears to think that he had been elevated to the status of speaking for all of you in that geographic area. I become so tired of being grouped as "gays" - we run as wide a spectrum of individuals as every other group in the human race, fat, think, smart, stupid, rich, poor, generous, mean spirited... you get my drift. Well done.

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    1. Thank you Craig. Responding to Lee Whitman's pompous, arrogant and threatening (to pull Every.Gay.Dollar out of Rehoboth) was like swinging at a big fat softball thrown across the plate. I hope I ruffled some of those "talented" gay feathers with my letter to the editor.
      Ron

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  12. My dear, I find you politically correct. Just because a man and his friends have "spending power" doesn't give them the right to invade the tranquility of others lives.

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    1. Fearsome Beard,
      Some people think because they're "talented" and have money, they can do anything they want. Not so, the "little people" deserve just as much respect as the "talented" and moneyed ones think is their right. I always get a kick when the "do you know who I am?" card is pulled by a celebrity when they try to get out out playing by the rules which apply to the rest of us, the Great Unwashed Masses.
      Ron

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  13. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Interestingly, the objections that neighbors have to pool noise does not seem at all to be directed at adult-generated noise, but at noisy children, based on the meetings I've attended and correspondence I've seen. There are also concerns about the very large houses -- 8+ bedrooms -- on the oversized lots, which have pools and large numbers of people and large numbers of cars, but little off-street parking, burdening the neighbors both aurally and space-wise. If some of the Washington-based gay visitors feel it is about them, well, maybe they do make noise, too, but that's not been mentioned. (In my still pool-less immediate area of 3-4-5BR houses, we get 3-generation families, and yes, sometimes there is some kid noise, but it is not prolonged.) Pools do create a whole different "vibe."

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