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Assessing the Cost of Escaping Violence

May 19, 1991

I am moved and saddened to learn that violence and abuse are widespread within the bosom of lesbian families ("The Cost of Escaping Domestic Violence," May 6).

Those of us who know that lesbians are people, like you and me, subject to a variety of strengths and weaknesses, like you and me, ought not be surprised that lesbians "act out" and suffer like the rest of us.

I take the liberty to remind the editors of The Times that none of us chooses our sexual orientation. As you continue to report progress and events surrounding the issue of homosexuality, please remember to eliminate the phrase "sexual preference." Preference implies choice. Authentic researchers seeking the roots of homosexuality never suggest choice as the answer.

Young teens struggling to be just like the other kids understand that there is no choice. Gay and lesbian adults, enduring harassment and abuse, rejection and persecution, the closet, the secret life, have not selected their orientation. It is unrealistic and unfair to suggest that they have.

AGNES G. HERMAN

Lake San Marcos

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