comments from James Poindexter, secretary of SA Pride

I think Councilwoman Chan has been irresponsible and downright inflammatory in her statements. Whether the recording is of a staff meeting or a council meeting her statements are reprehensible and clearly show a lack of education, a lack of dignity, a lack of class, and above all a lack of a sense of duty to her constituency. I feel great empathy for any LGBT person who may live in her district. I am especially heartbroken for those young people who are coming of age and just now finding their way as they hear our city council discussion such issues as a Human Rights Ordinance.

Our city, by moving forward with a Human Rights Ordinance sends a message to these people telling them "you are valued, you matter, you belong!" Councilwoman Chan has clearly sent the message to these people that they are NOT valued, they do NOT matter, they do NOT belong!!" As one of the Parade Directors for the annual "Pride Bigger Than Texas" Parade I can tell you that every year we hand deliver invitations to every member of city council inviting them to participate in the parade and every year we do not hear a peep out of Councilwoman Chan's office and we often lament how we wish we could for once show to the community some kind of support, officially, from District 9. Now I believe we have an official answer from her office and that answer is chilling.

This kind of shows not only some insensitivity on her part but it also shows how out of touch she is actually is with her job. As an elected official she is not just expected to execute the will of those who believe like her or hold her specific ideals at heart but rather she is expected to represent her ENTIRE district and act in the best interest of the entire district and not what is in HER best interest. Her speech in this meeting shows her flagrant disregard and purported veiled hatred for an entire cross-section of the community. And I am anxious to know from Ms. Chan the answer to a question. If being Gay or Lesbian or Transgender is a choice, then how old was she and under what circumstances did she encounter such choice and how long did she have to deliberate internally in order to make such choice. Because for someone to make a choice they have to be tempted by more than one alternative. I am curious to know the circumstances involved when she made her "choice".

I would ask that Ms. Chan respectfully resign her position as Councilwoman of the City of San Antonio as she clearly has become overwhelmed by a tremendous conflict of interest between her duties to her ENTIRE constituency and her tendency toward provincialism and her own personal discriminatory thoughts. Ms. Chan actually represents two minority groups simultaneously-women and Asian Americans. I hope that she shall never find herself, as a member of either group, on the receiving end of similar discriminatory remarks. Her remarks, instead of being a force of change and progress, have the unfortunate power to possibly move some members of our community to thoughts of suicide, self-harm, self-loathing, and overall feelings of inadequacy. These are ideals that I do not believe our community deserves to manifest any longer.

For so long San Antonio has existed, from a social standpoint, as the biggest small town in the nation. It is time that San Antonio truly move out of the darkness and into the light and take its place as a leading city and PROUDLY present itself as a world-class city that is truly representative of its status as the 7th largest city in the nation. Mayor Castro once said, "San Antonio is a place for everyone." Somehow it seems, Ms. Chan sees some for whom San Antonio does not have a place and that is quite sad. The late Lesbian poet Audre Lorde once said, "It is not our differences but our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences that truly divide us." Ms. Chan is unable to truly recognize, accept, and truly celebrate the differences that make up the mosaic of San Antonio.