Re: Gender and sexuality

As always, Eva Hayward hits the nail on the head (“When love gets difficult,” Feb. 27) when she takes issue with Chuck Klosterman’s superficial and thereby dangerous understanding of gender and sexuality. Gay, straight, bisexual and transgender are not mutually exclusive identifiers. They come together in various combinations, and the resulting permutations are innumerable. I happen to be a gay man, and I happen to be so because I say so. I was born into a male body in which I still live, and I have been attracted to other men for as long as I can remember.

However, I learned at society’s knee to deny that to myself and to everyone else. I married at 22 and divorced at 36 when the bottomless depression in which I lived became more suffocating than I could bear. My sadness was hardly “confined to [my]self,” as Klosterman would have us believe. It was, in fact, destroying everything.

Was my wife’s happiness a factor in whether I came out or not? Of course it was. I stayed in the marriage for 14 years for that very reason, knowing I would leave a trail of wreckage in my wake should I leave. But what is a relationship, really, when one partner is not living authentically, when one partner is hiding his very identity?

After several exceedingly difficult years, my ex-wife and I were able to find our way back to the friendship that initially brought us together. It took timetogether and apartas well as patience, understanding, love and, above all, truth. To suggest that I should have laid out the pros and cons of coming out on a 1980s version of an Excel spreadsheet, as if I were shopping for a car, is beneath anyone who has the audacity to call himself an ethicist.

Christopher Ross, South Boston, Va.

Re: Duke Energy rate hike

On March 13 [at the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh], Duke Energy will hold a public meeting concerning their proposed rate hikes. If Duke sticks to its word, the increase of 9.7 percent will be used to finance further nuclear power operations. This is an issue that we all have a stake in, and if North Carolina residents are going to be paying more for their energy, then Duke should invest wisely.

The construction of a nuclear power plant is a costly endeavor and eventually leads to the even more costly issue of nuclear waste disposal. While nuclear plants do provide substantial energy output, their reliance on distant resources and the costly storage of radioactive material suggests there are better options. It’s time for Duke to integrate more renewable technologies that can bring jobs to our state and power to our grids. While renewables currently contribute only a small amount to our grid, the only real barrier to their large-scale use is a lack of investment.

Erik Vosburgh, N.C. State, Raleigh