Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Killing of Lawrence King

He was a small gay kid. He lived in a center for abused and neglected children. But he was also very brave one. And it cost him his life.

Lawrence King, 15, was taken off life support on Thursday and his body was taken for autopsy after the organ harvesting.

Several classmates have said King would wear feminine attire, making him a social outcast with other boys at the school. King sometimes came to school wearing makeup and high heels...

Now his 14-year-old killer could face fifty years in jail. Which as angry as I feel, I find both cruel and ridiculous.

This little bully may have pulled the trigger. But who do you think taught him it's OK to hate and attack gay people?

As Matt Foreman from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said today .... a lot other people are also to blame.

Right now we don’t know exactly how anti-gay hate expressed itself in the murder of Lawrence King. We do know is that he was harassed on a daily basis because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.

We do know that adults at his junior high school did not stop it and that kind of tolerance of anti-gay bigotry is pervasive in our nation’s schools. Our hearts go out to Lawrence’s family — and to all young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids who are — right now, right this minute — being bullied and beaten in school while adults look the other way.

Others have talked about how brave Lawrence was. How even as the insults and the threats rained down on him, he refused to blend in. Or hide.

Like so many other gay kids are forced to do.

When I was in middle school, I knew I was gay, but I buried it deep inside. I skillfully deflected teenage crushes, whispers in the locker room, and dates to the prom...I was able to escape detection because the more effeminate guys caught all the trouble.

Every gay person remembers his first corrective message -- being gay is not OK. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. The lucky among us get bruised. Some of us get killed.

I've written about my problems with bullies. I didn't blend in either. But I was lucky. I was fairly big... and I knew how to fight. Having learned certain basic skills in the streets of Glasgow.... before I arrived in Canada.

Lawrence was slight and gentle....but he still refused to blend in .... and wasn't afraid to face the bullies. Day after day after day. Until one of them killed him.

So who do you think was braver?


The question everyone should ask themselves is why DO gay kids have to be brave to go to school?

And why isn't society doing more to fight the genocidal hatred called homophobia?

Like the British are trying to do with this new ad campaign.

It's really pretty simple.

Lawrence King may be the latest victim of this blind hate.

Rest in peace brave little brother.

But it's EVERYBODY'S problem ...

1 comment:

JJ said...

What a terrible story. But what a brave kid! I hope that he'll be an inspiration to other kids in the same position, and their friends -- to stand by them against bullies.

I love that UK campaign -- short, sweet and to the point. "Get over it!" That's perfect.