I grew up gay in 1950s Kentucky | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Marchers make their way toward the St. Pete Pier in St. Petersburg on March 12 during a march to protest the controversial "don't say gay" bill.
Marchers make their way toward the St. Pete Pier in St. Petersburg on March 12 during a march to protest the controversial "don't say gay" bill. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | AP ]
Published April 16, 2022

I grew up gay in 1950s Kentucky

Florida school districts move to comply with new law on gender identity | April 14

Words have consequences. I just read a story about a gay dad, traveling with his partner and two kids on an Amtrak train, who were subjected to verbal abuse by a total stranger, calling them rapists and pedophiles.

Bigots like this have become emboldened by the rhetoric surrounding Florida’s “don’t say gay” law. The governor’s own spokesperson used these ridiculous charges, referring to LGBTQ+ persons and their allies as “groomers.”

How ridiculous! I mean, I know we are attractive, and fun to have at parties. But seriously — to think that someone would choose to be gay or trans — face the risk of being vilified, ostracized or disowned?

How do I know? I was born in 1950 in Kentucky. At that time, being gay was considered a sickness, an aberration. I realized that I was different, but I suppressed it, wanting to be “normal.” I got married and had two wonderful kids. And while I was faithful to my wife physically, over time I could not hide my true feelings, and after 20 years of marriage, I finally came out to my wife, kids, family and friends.

My concern is that for many LGBTQ kids, the parents are the problem. These marginalized kids need a safe place to be themselves and for many, that safe place was our schools. Now I’m not sure to whom or where they will turn.

Bob Coates, Tampa

Charting it out

Judging the economy one household at a time | Editorial, April 13

Several stories in Wednesday’s Tampa Bay Times concerned the economy. One talked about rising food and fuel prices being a global issue. Another concerned French President Emmanuel Macron facing a tough reelection because of the economy there.

But the most interesting and informational article was your editorial. The most important information in your editorial was the graphs that included inflation though the years, U.S. gas prices, economy growth and job creation. In an easy to understand picture, we see a snapshot of our economy through the decades. Thank you for this most informative, easy to understand and important synopsis.

Marilyn Wirth, Largo

Missing out with no car

Can’t get there from here | Letter, April 13

With all the wonderful entertainment venues throughout Florida, there is no mass transit to get to them. As a letter writer pointed out, it costs $50 for a taxi to the airport. How ridiculous is that? Those of us who don’t drive or can’t drive can’t take advantage of what Florida has to offer — because no mass transit.

Walter and Barbara Johnson, Spring Hill