RE JENICE Armstrong's Kwanzaa column:

The piece was excellent - informative and balanced. I'm an old head who's very into our culture and wishes Kwanzaa was more accepted.

I liken the situation to being adopted. We know we come from somewhere else, but we have no connection. If you found out your ancestral name was Solenke, would you change it? Would that change the relationship you have with the name Armstrong and the family you love with that name?

Kwanzaa is a valiant attempt to help us Africans in the diaspora reconnect, but regrettably I have to agree with Jen's theme. It won't be embraced by the masses. Asante! (Thank you!)

Scott McKinley, Philadelphia

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Who we gay men are

Re the Dec. 23 letter from Mr. Stuhr:

I'd like to provide a few facts to counter his unfounded fears and stereotyping. We are not uncontrollable monsters as he perhaps hopes we are. We are human beings, we have hopes, fears, dreams, relationships, friends, families and jobs just like everyone else.

The writer mentioned he wouldn't want a gay man showering where that gay man could look at him. I guess he believes that any gay man would undoubtedly find him irresistible - but your ignorance makes you less attractive.

We gay men aren't attracted to every man we see - just like straight men aren't attracted to every woman that they see on the street, at the mall or at work.

That gay man you undeservedly fear in the shower area may be the same gay man who saved a fellow soldier's life on the battlefield, but you'd never know that because of "don't ask, don't tell."

If you don't like gay men, don't be friends with them. If you don't support gay marriage, don't have one; but don't expect us to hide in the shadows because you simply don't like who we are.

Matthew Silfies, Bethlehem, Pa.