Wednesday, August 03, 2011

they (maybe) should

It's one of those things people tend to say, people who aren't especially supportive of LGBT people, when they are discussing gay pride events.  They might suggest that there should also be a straight pride event, and it probably draws chuckles of approval, though of course it doesn't happen.

It is even arguable that pretty much every day is straight pride.  The few images we see of gay people in a positive light are the couple of sitcoms that have openly gay characters, but then those aren't people I admire or look to for affirmation.  I don't watch Glee, though I have.  It's not really that good a show, and it's not really that accurate for most gay kids.  Also, if I want to hear actors singing Foreigner songs I'll . . . um,  yeah, never want for that ever.

So what would happen if someone did in fact host/sponsor a straight pride event?  We've never known because it's always been mentioned in an off the cuff joking sort of way.

Until now.  According to Towleroad, religious leaders in Sao Paolo Brazil have decided to petition the government for just such an event, and the legislation has made it as far as the mayor.  Will he sign it, or won't he?

Of more concern might be what would this event actually look like?  I can't help but feel that part of the idea behind this would be to exclude gay people and to make a show of this exclusion.  Gay pride, while possibly seeming to exclude people does just the opposite.  An idea behind gay pride is simply increasing visibility of LGBT people, but another idea is to provide an outlet for all people to show their support for the equal rights of their gay friends and family members.

The few pride events I've attended have mostly been here in Knoxville, and they don't seem to feature a huge amount of straight people, but everyone who is open and fair minded is welcome.  It's an inclusive gathering of people wanting to stand proudly and proclaim that everyone deserves fairness and equality.  It's also a  party and the only time outside of a gay bar that we can feel like we are in the majority.  It does wonders to think of yourself surrounded by your community, and for so many it's a first.

So what could possibly be the point of hetero pride?  It can't be welcoming and openness.  It can't be support for a minority that is often mistreated and maligned.

But still I say go for it.  What can it hurt?  What do they hope to accomplish?  Whatever their goals it's better that they are aired in the sunshine rather that to continue to grow in the malicious darkness.

uppity fags

All signs point to the likelihood that Lawrence King was gay.  At fifteen he seemed pretty sure of it, and he seemed secure enough in himself to do what all teenagers do, play with self expression.  But probably because he was gay his self expression led to playing with gender based expressions such as high heeled boots, scarves, pink nail polish.

Another kid around the same age, Brandon McInerney, had a big enough problem with Lawrence King that he eventually took a gun to school and shot him in the back of the head two times.  And now a couple of years later he's finally being tried.

I've avoided this subject for the last couple of years because too often when I consider my opinion I can't help but think of them both as children when this happened.  They both had a rough childhood with significant family issues.  I'm no expert on this situation, though I'll also admit that I could never give all the links to all the posts I've read about this since it happened.  I can't imagine at fifteen you don't know what a gunshot to the back of the head means, but I can't accept that a fifteen year old has the same mental competency as an adult who one can argue at least has grown up enough to understand consequences, and I can't imagine the input of the people around him to bring him to where he was.

McInerney's lawyers have already introduced the gay panic defense.  Gay panic, for anyone unsure, is what happens when a hapless heterosexual is preyed upon by a perverse homosexual, and because gay=awful, they couldn't help but react by beating the crap out of said homosexual.  I think it has a cousin in the idea that women dressed inappropriately invite rape.  See also, "If he hadna been all faggoty and shit I wouldna had to whoop his ass.  He's askin fer it being all faggoty."

Which brings me, in a long and winding sort of fashion, to this article from Ventura County Star.  Several teachers have admitted to having done nothing to stop this other than to make Lawrence King stop being so faggoty.  He was told to remove a scarf, makeup, and nail polish at different times, and a teacher worried that he was going to be dragged behind a shed and beaten to death.

They complain that the lesbian principle made it all okay and didn't listen to them when they tried to warn her that Lawrence King was asking for a whoopin'.  They blame her for not being aware of the problems.

I blame them all for letting the students be bullies and especially bullies to someone who was obviously struggling.  This poor little boy who so obviously needed for the people around him to stop chasing him and hitting and pushing him wanted what every other fifteen year old wants, to make sense of an increasingly peculiar world, or maybe that's just us gays.

The article ends in a very telling fashion with this question and answer between a teacher and the DA:
Brown said she once saw a group of boys chasing King, which she described as a potentially unpleasant situation. Fox asked her if she stepped in to stop the chasing.
"No," Brown said.