IN THE NEWS: Readers of Michigan’s Between the Lines writes letter to the editor, gets her own column

by Joe Siegel

Michigan’s LGBT publication Between the Lines (BTL) published a column by a 15 year-old reader named Evelyn Dykes after receiving a plea from her for more viewpoints from LGBT teenagers.
In her March 7 letter to the editor, Dykes wrote: “We need everyone to be represented – first and foremost – but also, we need the youth. After all, we’re the future of you guys. We’ll be the ones to find cures for HIV and equality across the nation. We’re going to be like the nuclear bomb after the last LGBT generation’s warfare, and that’s pretty impressive. … I, Evelyn Dykes (real name), would like to propose a column to be written by myself that chronicles the lives of several LGBT teenagers and children.”
In response, the newspaper offered Dykes her own column.
On March 21, BTL published Dykes’ column, about a same-sex crush and the heartbreak of rejection.
“I know that in the time that we’ve been broken, several deeply personal occurrences have played out in a rather dramatic format. I still wonder what went wrong, and if it’ll ever be the same. Part of me – the weird, semi-formed adult – knows the truth, knows that it’ll never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever (except for those in which she miraculously declares her everlasting love for me and I feel strong enough to accept the consequences of the responsibilities associated with sharing a closet someday) be the same. The other half … is overcome by such a desire for hugs and her face that it is hard to breathe most times, and even harder to see straight when doing so.”
BTL Editor Susan Horowitz said Dykes “basically wrote to us requesting space for a column which we fully embraced.”
Horowitz and Dykes never met face to face. Communication was via e-mail. 
“She then wrote one column and perhaps lost interest since we did not receive any more correspondence,” Horowitz said.
BTL is open to publishing submissions from LGBT teenagers. 
“Our policy is to embrace that kind of enthusiasm and try and encourage participation when it presents itself, especially from young folks,” Horowitz added.

Volume 15
Issue 4

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July 30, 2013