March 2009 -

Letters to the Editor

March 2009

Vital Issue
This is the most arresting Columns I have ever read [Dec. 2008]! Probably because you featured fascinating bios of alums. Stories like that of David Kopay can't be told often enough to help normalize sexual orientations. Having been born in pre-WWII Shanghai, I resonated with Julia Lin's account of being smuggled out of China. Kudos.

Ed Crouch, '66

The Journey Continues
Thank you so much for the article about David Kopay. I remember growing up in Renton and listening to the Huskies games on the radio. I was in my early teens when Kopay played for the UW. I was also struggling with my sexual identity. I went on and graduated from the U. When Kopay announced to the world he was gay, I thought how much it would have meant to know of a gay athlete back in the early '60s. I realize that waiting was the only option for him, and that even in the '70s there were very few if any "out" athletes. Kopay should be considered a trailblazer in the gay rights movement. I am proud to have gone to the same school. Thank you for the wonderful and insightful article.

On a personal note, I am in one of the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who married in California. The struggle for equal rights recently took a setback, but hopefully the California Supreme Court will rule that initiatives that discriminate have no place on the ballot. The journey for gay people, in which David Kopay was a pioneer, continues.

Curt Engeland, '74
Los Angeles

Tolerance Is Tolerance
The article "David Kopay's Homecoming" was quite interesting. Here was a gay man, the subject of much misunderstanding and intolerance by others, implying that he has estranged himself from his brother and sister for the reason of "their voting for George W. Bush in the 2004 election." It struck me as quite ironic and hypocritical that Kopay is practicing much the same kind of intolerance toward individuals of a different political orientation that he has so bravely come out against on the basis of his sexual orientation.

Paul A. Raidna, '93

As an Obama supporter, I find it offensive in the era of "change" to include a snide and inappropriate jab at the outgoing administration [p. 18, Dec. 2008]. Let Bush go, but keep Columns out of the politics of the last election.

David Doupe, '65
Punta Gorda, Fla.

Giving Dobie His Due
A modest correction to your article about Gil Dobie ["When Comes Such Another?" Dec. 2008]. He never coached a 99-0 game, but did have games of 100-0 and 90-0 in his remarkable run at Washington. Dobie's teams so thoroughly dominated their opponents that one of the coach's greatest concerns was player egos. He obsessed over teamwork. When he used tough language, it was not to berate but to deflate. Dobie felt he had to let some air out of the heads that inevitably swell up after a crushing victory. Washington State Lt. Gov. William "Wee" Coyle, '11, said that after four weeks of practice the great coach had the entire team eating out of his hand. Coyle, incidentally, is fifth from the left in the front row of the team photo you published.

Lynn Borland, '66
Pacific Palisades, Calif.

A Must-Read
I compliment the editors of Columns for bringing it around to being a dynamic journal. Not only are the photography and art direction improved, but the words are harder to miss. Certainly, for this visual person, the combination of great portraits and text creates a must-read. I couldn't think of a better way of communicating with a broad alumni group.

Jack Lenor Larsen, '49
New York

The author, a world-renowned fabric designer, was the UW's Alumnus of the Year in 2005.


Letters to the editor are encouraged. Brief letters are more likely to be published; longer letters may be edited. Please include a daytime phone number.

Editor, Columns Magazine
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