Thursday, February 12, 2004

Response From LesbiaNation 

I sent a brief e-mail version of my posting on the Valentine's Tips to LesbiaNation. Laudably, they responded quite quickly, but I'm not particularly satisfied with the glossed-over response. The editor attempted to label the statement "for the man in your life" as being merely a problem of a "pronoun." But anyway - judge for yourself:

My e-mail:
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 7:08 AM
Subject: Valentine's tips article

I understand that lesbianation gathers articles from many sources, but perhaps a less obviously straight-focused article could have been selected for the Valentine's Day tips.

My first tip-off was the suggestion of personalized golf or tennis balls, or perhaps a humidor, "for the man in your life." Now, much of your content does include information that gay men might find helpful, but it's a bit ironic that lesbianation would assume that golf balls would be a gift for a man but not a woman.

Second was the two-paragraph discussion of marriage proposals. I live in Massachusetts, and given that there is right now a battle being waged over whether or not I should even be allowed to marry my girlfriend, I found this an awful reminder of the rights I don't yet have.

Charles Grace's most recent column is a great example of how this could have been approached a little better, in my opinion. It can be found at

Thanks for listening.

The response:
From: L. A. Vess []
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 8:07 AM
Subject: Re: Valentine's tips article


Thank you for your notes. For the first part, I agree the pronoun for that should be altered. No reason to assume that women wouldn't like golf balls!

For the second part, we cater to an International audience, some from countries where gay people can actually get legally married. And, regardless, I personally prefer to claim the word 'marriage' to refer to gay commitments in general, regardless of what the U.S. government says. In a way, reminding people of a right they are missing is one way to keep them thinking about it, and hopefully working toward doing something about getting that right for themselves. However, I can understand for some people it can be a painful reminder, and I apologize that this was the case for you.

Unfortunately, with writing, as with all things, you can please some of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time. ;-) However, I really do appreciate your comments, as all input is helpful in doing better!

L. A. Vess

Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:34 PM