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(Mis)Identifying Leonardo

I was enjoying reading about the DaVinci Code (“Cracking the Code,” July). until I got to the part in which the reader is told that Leonardo was not a “flagrant homosexual.” I wasn’t quite sure what about this phrase made me wince until I looked up the definition of flagrant. According to Webster’s, it means “conspicuously offensive … so obviously inconsistent with what is right or proper as to appear to be a flouting of law or morality.” Ouch!

Leaving aside the fact that the concept of sexual orientation did not come into being until the late 19th century, meaning that the word homosexual has little meaning as applied to someone who lived in the 15th, I find it curious that the author seemed to feel a need to reassure the reader that DaVinci wasn’t (heaven forbid!) gay.

Here in the 21st century, there are many of us who do identify ourselves as such, and I, for one, would appreciate a little more sensitivity.

Francis M. Mondimore, M.D.


I was delighted to read your feature on the outpatient neuro-rehabilitation program (“The Brain Trainers,” April). As the founding program director, I am happy to see the success of one of our first patients. Congratulations to the current rehabilitation therapists, supervisors, faculty and staff for commitment to this model of post-acute, coordinated patient care for acquired brain injury.

Felicia Hill-Briggs, Ph.D.



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