IT TAKE FIVE GREAT BIG GUYS...?"
9 August 2002
I'm on an e-mail list managed by a friend in Texas who sends out articles of interest
to the gay and gay-friendly community. The articles are from newspapers all over the world
with items about the good and the bad--legislation which is helpful, or harmful to the gay
community, instances of injustice, instances of support (legislation which gives same sex
couples equal rights, for example). I don't always read all the articles, but I at least
read the headlines.
The best articles are those where gay individuals, or gay couples, are treated the same
as everyone else. Nobody pointing fingers or yelling epithets. Just normal people.
The worst articles are those which recount instances of physical harm, especially when
that violence is condoned by local law enforcement.
This morning I read this headline: "Marcano Freed of Killing Designer."
The story is from Independence Square, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The
defendant, Marcano, assisted in the murder of a 26 year old clothing designer in 1999.
Apparently Marcano and a friend had gone to the home of the victim to watch television. At
some point Marcano's friend went to the bathroom and the victim apparently propositioned
him. The two began to argue and, as the article continues:
Nyron left, went upstairs to the kitchen, armed himself with a Chinese chopper and
he and Lynch began to fight.
Marcano said in his statement that he held Lynch while Nyron chopped him "because
he was fighting back and I did not want anything to happen to my friend."
Lynch was chopped 42 times, his skull was split open in the back, his face was chopped
open and he had several injuries to his chest and limbs.
He was convicted of the murder, but his conviction has just been overturned by an
"It was a classic case of provocation," the Chief Justice said, adding
that Lynch had wanted to sodomise the two young men.
He said there could be nothing "more heinous, more reprehensible" than for
someone to be subjected to such an advance.
Now think about that. Read that again. The victim propositioned the men. He
didn't attempt to rape them. They murdered him by chopping him 42 times. His skull
was split open in the back, his face was chopped open. And the judge feels
this was justified because he dared to proposition the two men?????
"The acts themselves were so unnatural that they would have caused a certain
reaction," he added
I'm sitting here in total amazement. I'm trying to imagine a man chopping to bits a
woman he wasn't interested in because she had dared to hint that she might enjoy a
liaison. I'm trying to imagine a judge saying that the attack was justified because the
murderer wasn't interested in having any sexual relationship with her.
What is it about homosexuality that prompts such physical reaction? Why is the
very hint of an attraction of a man for another man (this doesn't seem to be as
prevalent with female same sex attraction) prompt such outrage, such violence?
I read once that most (admittedly not all) straight murders are committed by means that
distance the murderer from his victim. They are shot with a gun, for example--an act which
can be done from across a room, or across a street. Poisoning involves no hands on
contact. While there are some "up close and personal" murders in the straight
community, the majority of them are done at some distance.
This usually doesn't happen with a murder (or attempted murder) of a gay person by a
straight person. If you read articles for any length of time, you'll find that attacks
like this one, with massive trauma that can be accomplished only by getting your hands on
the victim are the vast majority of them. Look at the condition of Matthew Shepard. Read
the story of my friend Gabi
Clayton's son Bill.
What is there about the hint that a gay man finds another man attractive that causes a
straight man to snap, to commit such brutal attacks? Why do packs of straight men feel
they have the right to beat up a single gay man? And worst of all, why do judges and/or
juries feel that these murderers are somehow justified in their heinous acts simply
because they might have been propositioned by someone of the same sex.
Are men so unsure of their own sexual identity that they have to lash out in such a
vicious, violent fashion on encountering someone of the same gender who finds them
There is absolutely no logic for the violence that I can even begin to understand.