To Shea Carver and whom it concerns,
I have never been so appalled by a cover of a magazine in my entire life [encore, June 1, 2011, "Pride Week"]. Being a member of the GLBTQIA community and having a degree in journalism, I am absolutely shocked by the photograph of TR Nunley being associated with Pride Week. Pride Week is supposed to be inviting to everyone. In my opinion, all this cover has managed to do is make people uncomfortable.
This photo creates the exact same paradox as a photo of an African American with a noose around his neck during Black History Month. Ignorant people across Wilmington are looking at the cover of encore right now. It seems to me they are more likely scratching their heads with confusion, following this by throwing this week’s edition away, choosing not to read about all the good things that are taking place during Pride Week. Educated people across Wilmington are probably doing the same, simply because they know symbols of violence (i.e. duct tape across someone’s mouth) breed negativity.
I was at work when this week’s edition was dropped off. Two seconds later, a coworker was in my face, asking me how this encore made me feel. Asking me if I knew the person with the duct tape on her face. I’m not sure how this escaped the creative minds over at your publication, but what would have been so wrong with a nice, inviting, smiling portrait of TR Nunley, making gay and straight people in Wilmington realize that Pride Week is a good thing? The movement has evolved from “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” to “we’re here, we’re queer, let’s be friends.” It’s completely unfair that the GLBTQIA community doesn’t have the same rights as heterosexual couples. However, we aren’t going to be granted the right to marriage based on one week in Wilmington. In order to change laws, we need the majority of Americans on our side, not a small group of angsty people causing a scene in a fairly tolerant city. Pride Week is about bridging a gap, one that, in my opinion, this week’s encore has only made wider.
I think this publication owes its readers an apology for the representation of Pride Week they’ve put together. I think TR Nunley owes Wilmington an apology for allowing this photograph to hit the stands. I will be contacting Wilmington Pride to share my distaste as well. In the future, I suggest you use a little more discretion when you are about to represent an entire community, especially ones as controversially as the article accompanying the cover makes us out to be.
With deep disappointment,
Thanks for writing and reading. I truly love reader feedback, and I will print your letter to the editor next week.
I apologize on behalf of encore for offending you, personally. I am hesitant to say your opinion represents that of everyone in our community—even educated people. Just as your opinion is your own, many in the community are seeing the coverage quite differently per other responses we’ve received already.
I also think it’s a stretch to compare TR Nunley’s photo to anything violent or like that of putting a noose around an African American’s neck. TR’s photo is not in any way advocating hate or murder; it’s begging to abdicate the silence from a rightful group of society, and with a pretty literal message “no h8.” I appreciate your view on it regardless, but no one here sees this photo “too much for print.”
I want to respond to two points specifically in your letter:
1)”What would have been so wrong with a nice, inviting, smiling portrait of TR Nunely, making gay and straight people in Wilmington realize that Pride Week is a good thing?”
If people base one corner photo of this cover and assume Pride Week isn’t a good thing, I will make the grand generalization that they aren’t GLBTQIA allies. I can’t control how TR chooses to photograph herself (we did not set up this photo; she sent it as a suggestion, which we liked), and I am certainly not going to silence her opinions on how she views the movement at hand—which I commend her for her honesty in sharing in the article.
Also, not everything in this movement is puppy dogs and rainbows, as I am sure you know. I fervently believe, like TR, that the same rights should be afforded to everyone in our society; that she stands up for and expresses this is a good thing in my opinion. The civil rights movement didn’t happen before because someone remained reticent to speak up.
2) “The movement has evolved from “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” to “we’re here, we’re queer, let’s be friends.”
In no way do I think our coverage isn’t inviting to friends who want to support the GLBTQIA community. There is plenty to celebrate in the coming week for everyone, such as the Pink Sheep Film Fest, and the rally and picnic, the flash mob or the T-Dance. We covered every event, educational and entertainment. I do not serve on the Pride Week board to determine the events, only report what they share with me. If we missed something you wanted to see, please let me know—or suggest to the board how you think Pride Week should be represented.
We focused only on the “not-so pretty side” of the issue in the “Lavendar Monologues” write up because, face it: Teen suicide among the GLBTQIA community is a serious topic. Again, I commend the Wilmington Pride committee for working with the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign during this week and staging this production. To me, that is one of the most important educational aspects of the week.
I tried to make it very clear that compassion, diversity and acceptance are always at the forefront of Pride Week, as well as love. I am pretty sure that came through; I apologize to you if you did not see it that way.
Again, thank you for reading and especially writing. I have forwarded your letter, as well as my response, to TR Nunley. I do feel your opinion should be shared with Wilmington Pride as a member of our community and someone representative of GLBTQIA.
All the best.
WORD ON THE STREET, JUNE 2, 2011
Dear Ms. Carver,
On behalf of the Florida Department of Citrus, I am writing in response to the article in Encore Online, entitled “Food 101: Real trumps processed every day of the week.” Please allow me to share further information.
One of the healthiest morning beverages, people choose 100 percent orange juice for its great taste and nutrition benefits. In fact, an 8-ounce glass of 100 percent orange juice contains a host of phytonutrients that may help the body’s natural ability to support good health throughout life. Additionally, one serving of 100 percent orange juice is more nutrient dense than many commonly consumed 100 percent fruit juices.
Approximately 80 percent of America’s orange juice is made from Florida-grown oranges. By utilizing state-of-the-art technology, Florida is able to provide a consistent supply of high quality, nutritious orange juice year round. By law, 100 percent orange juice is made only from oranges with no added sugars or preservatives.
The basic principle of orange juice processing is similar to how you make orange juice at home. Oranges are washed and the juice is extracted by squeezing the oranges. Seeds and particles are strained out. Orange juice is pasteurized to ensure food safety.
Please visit www.OrangeJuiceFacts.com for more information about orange juice.
Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss in more detail. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Public Relations Director
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CITRUS
605 E. Main Street
Bartow, FL 33830
 Rampersaud GC. A comparison of nutrient density scores for 100% fruit juices. Journal of Food Science. 2007;72(4):S261-S266.