As a 22-year-old gay man who has spent 18 years growing up in Marietta, I want to share my disgust for Dick Yarbrough's column "The doggone solution to Marietta's park problems" (Saturday's MDJ). In his analysis of the public sex problems in some of Marietta's parks, Yarbrough makes broad and offensive generalizations about what he refers to as "the gay community." His language seems to suggest that every member of the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered community is trolling parks for sex.
In reality, the men who are having sex with other men in public parks around this country usually identify as straight because they are too afraid, for whatever reason, to come out of the closet.
People who identify as members of the gay community, on the other hand, are fighting battles to gain rights to have healthy loving relationships with long-term partners. These people want nothing to do with the woods of Burruss Nature Park or Wildwood Park, and are as disgusted by lewd public sex acts as any of their straight counterparts.
Yarbrough's suggestion that dogs be sent out to chase the gays to Atlanta "where they belong" is terrible, and only sets the community of Marietta back another few notches.
It was not always easy to grow up gay in Marietta, and this is not the first time that I've encountered hurtful words like the ones in this editorial. I encourage Yarbrough to look around and see who his words may be affecting, and to stay away from broad, inaccurate generalizations that fuel a culture of homophobia.
Brendan M. Davis