Correspondents were overwhelmingly sympathetic to Greg Louganis (PEOPLE, March 6), whose story received the year's second largest reader response (Brad Pitt
's being No. 1). Despite objections from readers who condemned him for his homosexuality, for having unsafe sex or for not telling Olympic doctors he was HIV-positive, Louganis's question—"If people knew I was gay and HIV-positive, would they still cheer?"—was answered decisively, in the affirmative.
I have weathered many of Greg's experiences in my own life, and I have said goodbye to too many friends who have died of complications from AIDS. In this world where people are quick to judge what they don't know, my wish is that someone as kind, courageous and gifted as Greg Louganis will be seen as the true hero he is, a hero of the human spirit.
TIM CLAYPOOLE, North Haven, Conn.
I used to think our poor society had come to idolize its victims. But after reading your touching excerpt from Greg Louganis's book, I've come to realize that it's not simply victims we worship but those who can transcend their painful pasts and accomplish something great.
PATRICK J. COLLIANO, Fayetteville, N.C.
I just read your story, and I wanted to vomit! Cry me a bucket of tears, Greg. You made your bed, now lie in it. You'll get no sympathy from me.
DIXIE ASHBURN, Canton, Ga.
In the early '80s, I had the opportunity to coach Greg Louganis in his interview technique. He was painfully shy and not at ease with the attention he had begun to receive. To have opened up his unhappy past to a worldwide audience must have required tremendous courage. God bless you, Greg.
CANDACE KANIECKI, Santa Monica
My stepbrother passed away in November from AIDS-related cancer. What was most awful was that, by his wish, his illness was kept from the family like some awful secret until the last day of his life, when the doctor told us. It was painful to us to find this out but even more agonizing to learn he had been suffering in silence for years. We had no opportunity to comfort my brother and share his pain. I wish to commend Mr. Louganis for "coming out" and allowing his friends and family to support him in the struggle ahead.
ROSE YEREANCE, Barnegat, N.J.
I am appalled and sickened by the excuses Greg Louganis uses when explaining why he didn't reveal his HIV status to the doctor before his head was stitched up. He had his own agenda in keeping quiet, and we all know what that was. He put his own goals ahead of the health and safety of many.
KATHY ROBERTS, Tonasket, Wash.
I'm sure there will be much debate over Greg Louganis's lifestyle and his decision not to go public at the Olympics regarding his HIV status. I think we all need to put ourselves in his place in that era and ask, "Do we honestly believe we would have acted any differently?"
MARY E. FORTON, Arlington Heights, Ill.
Some people may call Pamela Anderson
and Tommy Lee's wedding spontaneous and sweet. The proper wording is spontaneous and stupid. One week isn't long enough to get to know someone. Don't the marriages of Shannen Doherty and Drew Barrymore
say anything to them?
MONICA ANNETTE CLARK, Kenton, Ohio
I am appalled that the psychologist who examined Jake Baker after he allegedly discussed plans via computer for the rape of a classmate concluded that he was guilty only of bad judgment. And it is shocking that Baker's mother is "angry and incredulous." I too am angry and incredulous—that weirdos like him too often act out their sick fantasies and that his mother would dismiss this horrifying episode as nothing more than a prank.
BARBARA GORDON COHEN, Clark, N.J.
Someone should have pulled the plug on your item about ER. It's Dr. Susan Lewis and Dr. Mark Greene. Watch two episodes and call me in the morning!
LISA HOLT, Huntington Woods, Mich.
We feel better already.—ED.
Thanks to Netzin Gerald and Dieter Steklis for their bravery and dedication in protecting the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Do you have an address for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund?
L. DOUGLAS WREN, Carlsbad, Calif.
45 Inverness Drive E., Suite B Englewood, Colo. 80112-5480—-ED.