Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gay People and the Hatred that Kills

The scary thing about homophobic violence is that it can happen suddenly and anywhere.

In the crowded streets of Sao Paolo.

Or a quiet street in Toronto.

"They were drunk and had open beer bottles in their hands," says John. "When they approached us they were making remarks as 'faggot,' 'fudge packer' and 'you and your girlfriend.'"

When cowards attack. And even the police are no help.

John says he isn't impressed by 911's handling of his first call, made while he and Majikwa were being hassled but before he was allegedly struck.

"[The 911 operator] insisted that we walk away and hung up the phone," he says. "Could you imagine that?"

Then they wonder why more hate crimes are not reported.

When everybody knows the homophobia that fuels the violence is in the schools, it's in the streets, it's at work, it's EVERYWHERE. You're not even safe in your own home.

A B.C. Supreme Court justice has rebuked a well-heeled family for harassing a gay couple living next door to them in an upscale Vancouver condo.

Court heard the Harrisons played annoyingly loud music, summoned the police with false accusations, tried to instigate fist fights, hurled slurs, let the air out of the couple's car tires and threatened to kill their cat.

So why aren't we doing more to fight they are in the more advanced European countries? Answer: because this is Canada where bad things don't happen.

Except that they do. I've been attacked by drunken homophobes at least a dozen times, and if I didn't know how to fight ...or run.... I probably wouldn't be here today. I'd be dead or lying in some hospital with brain damage. Because they ALWAYS go for the head.

And who will be next? Your brother, your sister, your friend, your neighbour, or you or me and my lover? Hurt or killed just for who we are.

Because that's one thing we all know. One thing we can't escape.

Until this crazy hate is crushed. Until these violent bigots are leashed or jailed.

Tomorrow could be our lucky day.

Or it could be our last one...


Anonymous said...

It is unacceptable that this should go on here. What can be done?

Anonymous said...

great post, simon, and you hit the nail on the head with your reference to 'and this is canada where bad things don't happen'. this brain washing, this idea that canada is a peace keeping's all an illusion and it sits so deep that the canadian psyche just can't seem to handle the existing shit that does go on.

but it does. and it's getting worse because of our blind eyes and ears. we're growing in population during dark times. now we must all look at ourselves in the mirror and see and recognize our own dark.

Scott in Montreal said...

Homophobia is a disease and a black mark on society. It's important to keep denouncing it without letting up.

I don't think our governments have made the same effort to combat it as with violence against women, child abuse, racial hatred, etc. By not giving homophobia the same degree of attention as these others, our governments improperly signal that it is somehow less offensive. That does an injustice not only to the gay and lesbian community, but to the very concept of Human Rights.

We need to keep making our voices heard, demanding equality for gays, and denouncing those (like the unbelievably moronic 911 operator you refer to) who don't take homophobia seriously. People are people, as Depeche Mode sang.

My eldest son's favourite story right now is Horton Hears a Who, with its powerful message: "a person's a person; no matter how small". We need to teach our kids these lessons early, and make sure to emphasize that there are no exclusions. Not based on race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, eye colour, mental or physical disability, having a funny voice, whatever.

Thank you again, Simon.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Simon said...

hi lilian...yes it is unacceptable, but that's a BIG question :)
I think the simple answer is EDUCATION.
We have to teach Canadian children to respect others and never to hate people just for who they are.
Much progress has been made. There are a lot of good parents and teachers and kids out there doing their best to stop bullying.
And I'm confident the new generation will usher in a kinder gentler better world. But judging from what's still happening we need to do more...

Simon said...

Hi you know this kind of senseless bigotry and violence really bothers me.
And you know when I wrote "that this is Canada where bad things don't happen," I was going to add something like "where kids don't get bullied, where nobody goes hungry, and native people don't live in the kind of poverty that should horrify us all..."
I should have said that eh?
And you're right we really need to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask what country we are becoming...

Simon said...

Hi Scott...thanks a lot...and what an inspiring comment.
One of the things I hate about Canada these days is how where we once lead now we trail. We aren't putting enough resources into fighting homophobia, because now that gays can get married many Canadians figure the problem is over. But in the United States as more gays become visible, hate crimes are growing, and I wouldn't be surprised if that happened here.
But I've got to say this really made my day:

"My eldest son's favourite story right now is Horton Hears a Who, with its powerful message: "a person's a person; no matter how small".

Love those Whos and you too Scott.
As I've said before your kids are lucky... :)

Simon said...

hi anonymous...or Karol. You shouldn't have posted the same comment at the under your own handle.
I almost let your comment stand just to show people what kind of sicko hatemongers I'm fighting.
But then when you went on to accuse me of promoting violence against heterosexuals with this post, I had enough.
As you know there is a large group of people out there who have had enough of your hatemongering and harassment some of them have
complained to the police.
So if I were you I check into a mental hospital as soon as you can.
Because that way when they finally charge you for spreading hate you can claim insanity...which for you should be easy.
And BTW don't bother trying to post a comment here any longer, because I won't publish them.
You're a very sick man Karol, and you need help...