I am writing today to applaud the addition of Brett Barber to BTL. I am pleased in general that BTL has continued the tradition of embracing our gay youth, as you did with Matt Barton. There are several specific reasons that I support Brett’s column, above and beyond the fact that I think his t-shirt was such a concise commentary on U.S. foreign policy.
Firstly, your widely distributed paper gives a forum for Brett to share his views which are not mainstream and obviously not likely to find a voice in his high school hallways, much less in his high school newspaper. This is quite a sad irony given that Dearborn High identifies as “The Pioneers.”
Secondly, your decision to make Brett visible to his peers gives them a role model, strength, and hope. Brett is a role model in that he has become involved in his community. The fact that he is openly gay lets other youth know that they are not alone.
I speak not only of Brett’s peers who are youth or are gay, but also the larger community of his peers who are truly “pioneers.” I believe that he offers a role model, strength, and hope to ALL BTL readers, even those who disagree with his thoughts, feelings, and actions, Anyone who has ever questioned to come out can relate to his passion about needing to be true to one’s self.
Let’s not forget that ultimately Brett’s message is about seeing the commonalities within humanity rather than the differences between people. Let’s remember, this guiding principle is the very thing that led the drag queens to fight back at Stonewall. I’m confidant that Brett’s column will remind us of where we have come and where we are ideally headed.
Antonia Caretto, Ph.D.