Pallone Scored a Hit With His Courage

Dave Pallone is to be congratulated for the courage and the strength he has shown in his coming out process ("Behind the Mask," June 17). He joins a small but growing number of persons associated with professional sports standing up to the homophobia these institutions promote.

However, I was disturbed by his comments about "effeminate" men. It is assuring to know that he does not find them offensive--only annoying.

While his enthusiasm to set the world straight about lesbians and gays is appreciated, he might want to explore his newly found community a little bit more before lamenting what a bad job of publicity hairdressers or artists or art-loving people are doing for the majority of us "normal" gay and lesbian folk.

I came out of the closet sharing some of the same thoughts as Pallone has. I regret some of the comments I made or wanted to make. It was not unexpected. After all, I was fed the same stereotypes about lesbians and gays he was.

As I came to know my community, I learned that the gay and lesbian community has a wonderful diversity that reflects the diversity of Los Angeles.

By his coming out publicly, Pallone will help break the notion that lesbians and gays conform to a particular lifestyle or belief. However, I hope he will not use the opportunity before him to put down other lesbians and gays whom he believes--to paraphrase him--make us all look bad and make it difficult for us to come out.

KEITH MALONE

Los Angeles

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