Can being openly gay and out invited attack? Sure, yes, definitely. Should gay kids such as Lawrence King thus be encouraged to keep a lid on their lavender ways? That’s what some people say journo Neil Broverman advocates in a new Advocate article: “Mixed Messages,” which is currently excerpted on the magazine’s website.
The piece definitely packs a punch and has some readers doubled over in pain, particularly this paragraph:
If they didn’t see the execution coming, most of King’s peers at school knew he was being bullied for being proudly gay and flouting male conventions by accessorizing his school uniform with eye shadow and high-heeled boots. In the months leading up to that morning, King had undergone a metamorphosis.
Guided by a welcoming support system at the group home where he lived, the teenager was encouraged to dress as he pleased and live as the person he wanted to be.
What King and others didn’t recognize was that this encouragement–and his response to it–placed him on a collision course with a culture that found him repulsive.
Certainly the argument can be made that King’s unashamed approach to bullying only encouraged more verbal torture, but such an explanation reduces the horrible murder to its most essential element: King’s contentious sexuality. To completely understand the entire situation, one would also have to look at alleged gun man Brandon McInerney’s background.
What makes a 14-year old kid take a gun to school and shoot his classmate? Blind rage? Perhaps he had a traumatic childhood. Maybe, just maybe, McInerney’s struggled with his own sexuality. We may never know what went on inside the accused killer’s mind, but one thing’s for sure – and this will sound gruesome – the amount of attention and discussion this death has caused does far more good than Brandon’s bad.
Yes, it’s tragic that King died so young – and after leading a troubled life – but, like Matthew Shepard’s death so long ago, King’s murder will (hopefully) bring about much needed change in this country. Maybe one day kids won’t have to worry about being out. Maybe parents and counselors won’t have to worry about whether honest encouragement will bring a violent end. Maybe, just maybe, the United States will mature in the wake of this murder.
But, you know, that’s just us being uncharacteristically optimistic…
The simple answer is that queer kids (gay or transgendered) should learn to fight (to kill, if necessary) and use weapons effectively. Plenty already do, but if you’re that out and proud, you need to be seriously prepared for an attack.
This reminds me of the Stonewall riots. Most people forget that it took an act of violence brought on by years of torment to make people back off, and stop harassing and torturing our people. Yes, I said “our people”. I know that sounds separtist, espesially for a group of people trying to be included in society, but sometimes it takes realizing that you are not like them and that they feel this way as well, and you need to knock them on the head and get their attection to change their ways.
I’m not advocating violent action, but at the same time, if someone EVER tries any shit with me, they better bet that they are going to get the fight of their lives, and one of us is going to need stitches; whether I have to use claws, teeth, or fists.
hells kitchen guy
“The simple answer is that queer kids (gay or transgendered) should learn to fight (to kill, if necessary) and use weapons effectively.”
You’re right. That’s a simple answer, simplistic, too. Some 14-year-old living in group home is supposed to pack heat going to school because of anti-gay taunting? Uh-huh.
Reports indicate that the killer came from a violent home where his mother was beaten by his father. So, there are a lot of factors involved with what may have driven the kid to murder.
I don’t believe in charging children as adults, which is the case here. The kid committed a horrible crime but he is still a child and physically his brain has not developed to allow him to make rational decisions. Locking up a 15 year old for 50 years does not make for justice, especially if the kid had never committed any other violent acts.
King’s death was a horrible tragedy and punishment is required. I look at people like James Dobson and Ken Hutcherson who encourage senseless hate as co-conspirators in the crime. Moreover, a thorough investigation of the killer’s home life has to be included and considered in the punishment.
Someone this young can be redeemed.
I hope that tragedies like this send a clear message to all of us who came out quietly and continue to live a “normal,quiet life”. we were not trailblazers, we reaped the benefits of those who were beaten and humiliated and called out long before we “proudly came out”. we have become lazy and self driven. this is a wake up call and these kids will continue to be the victims,opening the doors for the next generation. i hope that people stop settling for the status quo,we have the right to exist unharmed,we have the right to be here. We need to expect more from ourselves and our community,these kids should not be fighting,we should be fighting for them.
Violence is never the answer. Ghandi didn’t free India by waging a civil war, he did it through nonviolent protesting. They can verbally assault us, physically assault us and, even, on occassion kill us. Every time that happens, more people come to our side. The more heinous they are, the more people who will rally around our cause. If we fight back, and even win some battles, it won’t do us any good in the end, because we’re not going to convince people that we’re anything but a bunch of queers – and now violent ones at that. So, if someone is being verbally or physically assaulted for their sexuality, they should employ all the nonviolent means necessary to respond. In the end, they’re much more likely to help themselves in both the short and long run.
I don’t believe that homosexual children should have to learn to fight for who they are. I feel that society and some of its blockheaded members should learn to accept people for who they are, and stop trying to control people that have nothing to do with them. If people want to control someone, if people want to begin a riot against homosexuality,they should begin it in their own homes, with their own families(if need be).
I am not a homosexual, but I call a Jackass a Jackass, and the people initiated hate crimes are, indeed, Jackasses.
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