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Readers respond to "Age of Consent"

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Gender blender

I feel that while City Pages may not have intended to do so, the paper has actually been rather offensive and insensitive about issues regarding transgendered, intersexed, and all individuals who have ever questioned their gender ("Age of Consent," 3/4/09). The image pictured on the cover combined with the title, "Age of Consent," seems to imply that there is a link between biological sex, which there are more than two of; gender identity, which there are also more than two of; and sexuality. Identifying as another gender or raising a child in a gender-neutral environment cannot and should not be equated with having a sex change. Allowing the child free will to live as the gender of their choice is not the same as sex-reassignment surgery, which is the image this cover and accompanying title paint for anyone not familiar with the concept of questioning the societal construct of gender. It should be noted that people have to label themselves with a disorder to legally change their sex—this is something that I believe needs to be reevaluated. It also should be noted that when children grapple with their identity that they have not developed sexually and therefore their gender identity is not related to sexuality.

Scott Bradford
Minneapolis

Current events

Thanks for your article about Jim McGuinn ("Radio Ga Ga," 3/11/09). I have noticed that since he took over at the Current, I am hearing a lot more music that I like. The station seems to be displaying more depth than before, and is not nearly as heavy on the twee indie-pop that I personally have found so annoying in the past. I met Jim at the Current's taping of the Mark Olson and Gary Louris interview/performance and was happy to find him an engaging, knowledgeable, and intelligent guy. Before, I had pretty much written off the Current as a station that was blowing a grand opportunity to do something pretty cool; I now believe that it might be within their reach after all. Now...can we have some freeform, anything-goes late-night music, please?

Mark Trehus, Treehouse Records
Minneapolis

Real Nordeaster calls out P.C. scold

This is in reaction to "Concerned Citizen" who wrote a letter to the editor a couple of issues ago about City Pages using "Nordeast" to describe northeast Minneapolis in a previous writing in your paper (Letters, 2/25/09). I hadn't read what this person's remarks were pertaining to, but I am sure it was done tastefully. (Not that City Pages always writes tastefully, but writing about Northeast, it's hard to go wrong.)

Anyhow, this person claims you were being "racist" for doing so because of our Eastern European immigrant settlers and their inability to pronounce certain sounds. I beg to differ. I have lived in Northeast most of my 51 years. My family is a longstanding Northeast family with the fifth generation walking the same floors I did as a child; some of those family members are buried in the cemetery at 27th and Central. I have never, nor do I know anyone from Northeast, who has ever thought using the word "Nordeast" was ever anything but a word of pride to describe this great place I call home.

From the letter, we know nothing about this person other than the fact that they believe they are concerned about the good, hard-working/immigrant people of "Nordeast" Minneapolis and anyone who uses "Nordeast" is a racist. Got news for "Concerned Citizen"...you are barking up the wrong tree!

As I recall, years ago when I was a child the Star Tribune wrote a story comparing different areas of northeast Minneapolis. With the story they ran photos of two different Northeast neighborhoods. Some of these photos were of the houses on 26th and Jackson, a real blue-collar, working-class area. This area is known as "lower Northeast" or "the Valley," one block from where my family home is. The other photos were of houses up near St. Anthony, known as "The Hill," more known as the middle- to upper-middle class area. The story was insulting to those of us who lived below the hill. It caused a great uproar and days later everywhere you looked in lower "Nordeast" there were signs in yards and windows saying, "Nordeast Is Beautiful." These signs were around for years. I would not be surprised if someone still has one.

For those who grew up in northeast Minneapolis, no explanation is needed when we say, "Nordeast." Northeast Minneapolis was a great place long before any artist showed up, long before houses were painted really cool colors, long before awesome flower gardens grew, long before any neighborhood committees—long before "Concerned Citizen" took an interest in defending something that didn't need defending.

To Concerned Citizen: We don't need your political correctness here...we do and have done just fine without it.

Ann Lemke
Nordeast Minneapolis