Dear Dr. Robinson,
I have received your 'letter to the editor' regarding the June editorial, "Sticks and Stones." My intent was not to offend gay men in nursing. I sought to make the point that individuals frequently say things to or about others in ways that are intended to cause pain.
If a person is either straight or gay, being referred to by an inappropriate slur requires thick skin. No level of an ethical code, sense of justice, or equality can minimize the fact that there are mindless individuals in the world who thrive on saying things to others with the sole purpose of hurting them. My editorial was not meant to imply negativity about homosexuality. The evil I was referring to was the hurtful manner in which some people communicate, such as the example I used about the assumption that a male in nursing was too 'stupid' to get into medical school. It's not the assumptions that are the problem, it's derogatory and disrespectful labels people use.
Bob Kepshire, RN, CEN, MS