Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Attempted Outing of Colette Beighley (or Letters to the Editor VI)

I'm incredulous that people try to "out" me in their Letters to the Editor. Pastor Tim Cross once again wrote in to the Muskegon Chronicle. This time he indicts himself with these words:

That was until I found out that Collette (sic) Beighley (Ari's mother) is the West Michigan Field Organizer for Triangle Foundation, a gay support organization.

Well, now I would like to "out" Pastor Tim Cross:

It appears that Pastor Cross never read the article

Here is the direct quote from the original article:

Colette Beighley has turned to advocacy work as the West Michigan field organizer for Triangle Foundation, a group that works to educate the public and lawmakers about discrimination, hate crimes and harassment against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

Additionally, the original article had all the contact information for the West Michigan Field Office of Triangle Foundation -- since my name was embedded in that info, there is another obvious connection. To make this even more blatant, there was an emboldened sidebar with Triangle Foundation's contact information for reporting hate crimes.

Actually (aside from the fact that it's ludicrous), I don't have any problem with people outing me as long as they get it right:

"West Michigan Field Organizer for Triangle Foundation -- Michigan's leading civil rights, advocacy and anti-violence organization serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied communities."

This is the second attempted outing in a Letter to the Editor. The thing is ... my position was announced on Page Four of the Grand Rapids Press (Sunday, February 11, 2007) with a color photo the week before I started. Then there were those pesky radio interviews that make outing me so difficult. Of course, there is my bio on the Triangle website, my blog, and my Facebook -- all connecting me to Triangle. Not news, guys.

My stance on my own public outing is this:

Please DO help spread the word about this wonderful organization.
Let everyone know about the mission of Triangle Foundation.
Make it public knowledge that it is my great honor to do this work serving individuals in West Michigan for whom I have the deepest respect and all while working alongside the most incredible staff ever!

Out me. Please!
Links to the continuing conversation in the Muskegon Chronicle:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
About half way down this op ed (that actually is entitled "Higher sales tax a terrible option to fix ailing budget"), the editor discusses the enormity of letters in response to our story and others. He pledges to publish them all ... in time.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Supports pastor's views on gays (third letter down)
Thursday, September 20, 2007

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Letters to the Editor V

Two months later, the conversation continues. Here are the most recent responses to the July 15, 2007 article in the Muskegon Chronicle entitled "Parents Choose Son Over Church, Friends."

Following Scripture for gays a 'hard road'
Sunday, September 02, 2007

On the eight week anniversary of the article's publication, two more letters to the editor appeared:
Gay controversy prompted by pastor's letter still rages on
Sunday, September 09, 2007

If you would like to weigh in and write your own Letter to the Editor of the Muskegon Chronicle, please join the conversation!

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