FBI Says 4 Anti-Gay Hate Crimes Each Day

28 October 2008 | 2 Comments

The FBI has released it’s hate crime statistics for 2007, and they say there were 1460 hate crimes based on sexual orientation. If you take out the 27 that were anti-heterosexual crimes, there were 1433 crimes against the LGB community last year (transsexuals don’t seem to be included as a category). That’s 3.9 every day…

The FBI statistics reveal that hate crimes against our community are on the rise, whereas other types of hate crimes are going down.

But I’m a little suspicious- the homicide numbers seem low. They say only 5 LGBT people were killed last year. But the video from FightOutLoud.org I mentioned back in early March documented 7 deaths in just the first two months of this year: Shanesa Stewart, Adolphus Simmons, Alexio Bello, Patrick (“Patricia”) Murphy, an unidentified transgender woman in Detroit, Lawrence King, and Simmie (“Beyonce”) Williams Jr. How can only 5 have been killed in all of last year when we had 7 die in just two months this year?

I haven’t been tracking the stats very well since then, but just the other day two elderly gay men were bludgeoned to death in their home – Milton Lindgren, age 70, and Eric Hendricks, age 73. I’m sure there are others as well.

I’m guessing the FBI’s standards for calling something a hate crime are a bit too stringent. Looking at who’s been killed so far this year it’s overwhelmingly black, hispanic and/or transgendered people getting killed. It makes you wonder if those killings are getting handled properly and correctly labeled as hate crimes.

Also, given how the campaigns have gone, it’s pretty clear which presidential candidate will be more likely to A) have the FBI report the data correctly, and B) take meaningful steps to reduce the violence against our community.

Never Forget Matthew Shepard

6 October 2008 | 2 Comments

10 years ago today Matthew Shepard was beaten and left to die tied to a fence. Some things have gotten better in that time, but sadly many, many things have not. An LGBT person is getting killed every eight days – even teens who innocently give valentines to straight guys.

Here’s a clip with Matthew Shepard’s mom. Please be as vocal as this wonderful straight woman in protecting our rights.

And if you still don’t understand why it’s important to vote for Democrats this year – issues like this are where you see the clearest difference between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans are the ones who consistently vote against hate crime legislation for the LGBT community despite the fact they themselves are protected by hate crime legislation (for religion-oriented hate crimes). On the other hand Democrats consistently vote for hate crime legislation. Yes, there are good Republicans, and I’ve voted for them, but don’t think that just because both haven’t quite figured out that “separate but equal” is a bad idea in terms of gay marriage and civil unions, doesn’t mean there isn’t a very real difference between the parties in matter that can affect you personally.

And just a reminder it’s still going on 10 years later even in urban areas…

LOGO’s PSA Inspired By Lawrence King

10 March 2008 | No Comments

LOGO put together a great PSA inspired by the Larry King tragedy. They’ve even put it in as a splash screen for their site (before you get to their homepage). Ellen DeGeneris did her bit a little while ago, but LOGO put together a really great group of celebrities for this one…

This is a huge issue. With a LGBT person getting killed every 8 days, it just has to get more attention.

As they say in NYC – “If you see something, say something…”

One of us is getting killed every eight days…

6 March 2008 | No Comments

Here’s a sobering statistic… So far this year, an LGBT person has been killed every 8 days in the US. And those are just the ones we know about. That’s just so wrong…

This video was put together by FightOutLoud.org

Get angry. Get political. Make your friends understand… Yes, most of the people who are getting attacked are people of color, and many of them are drag queens and transvestites, but we’re not safe until all of us are safe…

Ellen DeGeneris On The Killing of Larry King

29 February 2008 | 2 Comments

While the press hasn’t really picked up on the story of Larry King, the teen who got shot at school just because he was gay, Ellen DeGeneris did a wonderful segment on her show recently about him…

We need a lot more people saying stuff like that…

While Ellen doesn’t think of herself as political, her comments were most definitely political. Her statement is exactly what I mean when I say to be political…

Femmy Teen Gets KILLED In His California School

13 February 2008 | 8 Comments

If you think things in the US are pretty good for gay people and not at all like they are in Iran. Think again.

Today Lawrence King, a femmy 15 y.o. high school student, was shot and killed in his first period English class. The reason? Because he was a nelly queen who wore jewelry and make up. This was after being teased and taunted by classmates for a while. And this wasn’t in some hic town in the middle of nowhere – it was in Oxnard, CA – outside Los Angeles.

Femmy teens are in a really difficult position. Those of us who are “straight acting” can just play along and avoid problems, but fems don’t have that option. They are who they are and they shouldn’t be shot dead just because they are true to themselves.

This just drives home how hate crime legislation is important. Curiously, if you shot one of the people who doesn’t want gay men and lesbians to have “special protection” under hate crime legislation – you could be charged with a hate crime since they’re protected (for their religion) – they just don’t think we’re special enough to have the same protection they enjoy themselves.

Of course cases like this are typical in that most gay bashing is done by teens who haven’t yet become secure in their own sexuality. It may seem harsh to put a teen in prison for an extended period because they were motivated by their own insecurities, but that’s something for the juvenile justice system to deal with on a case-by-case basis. The point is we need to make a clear statement that violence against gay men, lesbians and the transgendered (and a few straight people who appear to be gay) will not be tolerated.

Also remember – intolerance of intolerance isn’t bad like other forms of intolerance. For all you math geeks – it’s a double negative and hence completely different. In fact you can’t aim for a tolerant society with out being intolerant of intolerance…

School administrators also needs to be held accountable for this. How in the hell did a gun get into the classroom and why didn’t they deal with the situation when it was just taunting and teasing? They aren’t just there to teach the kids reading, writing and arithmetic – they’re there to socialize them and teach them how to be civil human beings. A kid died in English class for god’s sake – I hope someone is held accountable in addition to the mixed up kid that pulled the trigger.

One of the lessons I learned in grad school from a wonderful radical lesbian feminist professor was that radical change rarely ever comes from the big things people remember – it comes from a whole bunch of little things and sorta sneaks up on you. You realize radical change has happened by looking back and thinking “gee, that couldn’t have happened 20 years ago” (e.g. electing a black man or a woman as President). So, be political in your every day lives – tell your friends about the discrimination and injustice we continue to face, and do the little things like always showing up to vote for the candidate with the best stance on gay rights. When enough people change the hearts of the people around them, and when we have political leaders who “get it”, the big stuff will follow.

UPDATE: Turns out, as of now, Lawrence King isn’t dead. He’s brain dead and they expect to pull the plug on him soon, so the net effect is the same. California does have hate crime legislation and they’re planning trying the kid who did it as an adult and charging him with murder with a hate crime special circumstance. In other words, this is going to be about as bad for the kid who did it as it gets…




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