Letters | January 2006

Letters | January 2006

As a social worker for transgender youth, I was delighted by your article about muxe culture in Oaxaca ['Stepping Out,' November]. It was refreshing to see a respectful and informative story about people with different gender

expressions living safely in a welcoming community. I particularly enjoyed the explanation of an indigenous matriarchal society that places value on traditional female qualities in some biological men. I have shared this article, which helps show the diversity and varying histories of transgender people, with my colleagues and some of my clients. Thank you for this useful information.

—jasmine oglesby, philadelphia, pa.

Running to Miami

I was on the treadmill at the gym when I saw a Travel + Leisure editor on CNBC's Power Lunch talking about new hotels in Miami Beach. I later picked up a copy of your October issue for the article "A Higher Standard," featuring André Balazs's first spa hotel as well as the Setai and the Hotel Victor. I grew up in Miami but have not been back in years—it is amazing to see how it continues to develop, well beyond South Beach. I am eager to return to my hometown this winter and try a couple of these hot spots.

—william tovell jr., columbia, s.c.

With a Name Like Marfa...

Last summer, while driving across Texas en route to Big Bend National Park, my husband and I made a pit stop in Marfa. We were surprised to discover so many art galleries and beautifully restored buildings. I found the town very charming but could not figure out why artists were flocking to the middle of the Texas desert. Paul Alexander's article ["Art Oasis," September] answered my question.

—jennifer stinchcomb, dallas, tex.

Test Case

Although I loved the premise of "Baggage Claims" [October], I was hoping for more practical advice. Like many othermiddle-class Americans, I can't afford a $600 suitcase. Next time, please include more lower-priced options.

—Danielle Moser, via e-mail

Femme Vitale

I read your Women's Travel Special [October] while on a solo vacation in Hawaii, where I was repeatedly called Mrs. by hotel staff on Kauai and brave by a tour guide because I was traveling alone. Everyone assumed I had left my (nonexistent) husband on the golf course. "Brave" is opening a hotel in Kabul, not traveling to Hawaii. I left Kauai two days early for the Halekulani in Honolulu, where respect was provided free of charge.

—debra nir, new york, n.y.

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