Books Read in 2007
WHEN DOES IT STOP?
9 October 2007
It's good for straight people to have to read about what gay people endure every day.
This is an article about a gay bashing incident which occurred in Sacramento recently. It is cruel and ugly, but it is reality for the gay community. Oh, most gay people will live their lives from day to day without ever encountering the degree of hate that drove the men in this article to kill a young man they only assumed was gay, but the fact is that this is the level of hatred that exists in some segments of our society and you never know when it's going to rear its ugly head.
A group of Slavic men encountered a family picnic, 3 married couples and a single man. Assuming the single man was gay, the Slavic men made threats. The people tried to leave, but the Slavic group blocked their way. One of the women was pregnant.
I strongly encourage you to read the full article.
I know these men. Well, not personally, but I have seen them, or some of them.
They attended a Valentine's Day demonstration that I attend each year, when a few gay and lesbian couples go to the county clerk's office to request marriage licenses. The Slavic community was out in full force that day.
I had seen anti-gay protesters before, but these guys scared me. They were big and burly and, though it doesn't show in this photo, their faces were filled with hatred. It took a couple of armed guards from the county office building to get them to leave. This was a far cry from the almost laughable Rev. Fred Phelps and his gang from the Westboro Baptist Church.
I next saw them when I went to act as a shield between them and the young people marching to the Capitol for a peaceful demonstration and to meet with their legislators to discuss legislation to protect gay kids in school.
Another side of the spectrum with respect to gay hatred is illustrated in a New York Times article today, about older gays and lesbian in nursing homes. "Elderly gay people...living in nursing homes or assisted-living centers or receiving home care, increasingly report that they have been disrespected, shunned or mistreated in ways that range from hurtful to deadly, even leading some to commit suicide."
The article goes on to list the discrimination against aging gay people trying to find help in their declining years.
I think back to my friend Gabi Clayton's son, the victim of a gay bashing incident which ultimately caused him to take his own life. I look at the hatred of the people who caused the murder of the young man in Sacramento.
Hatred of gay people, people who had no choice in their sexual orientation runs the gamut from the very young to the very old.
When does it stop? When do we just look at people as people, without labels?
PHOTO OF THE DAY
(the Westboro Baptist Church members believe
that Iraq is