He tried to grab my butt

News & Politics

Recently, I wrote about a story out of Santa Fe in which a woman and a gay man were held hostage and tortured by other people at a party they attended. Well, three men and one woman are being held in connection with the case, and two of the men have been charged with aggravated battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit kidnapping -- and they're already beginning to mount their defense in the press.

So why did they beat the gay man (and his female friend) until the sun came up, leaving him with "bleeding on the brain, a concussion, facial lacerations and bruising"? Because one of them told the other he thought the victim tried to "grab his butt."

In an interview, York told state police the comment upset him and made him want to fight the 18-year-old man, the statement says. York said everyone at the party made fun of the 18-year-old man because he was gay, the statement says.
Of course, not everyone at the party made fun of the victim for being gay. I'm sure his female friend didn't, and probably even defended him, which is why she was held against her will and kicked and beaten, too.
York said he wanted to "scare" the victim to "make him straight and to get him to stop acting the way he was," the statement says.
The ignorance is just astounding. Who has failed in their obligation to educate these young men about being gay and what that exactly means? Their quite possibly homophobic parents? Their schools, where, once upon a time not so long ago, health classes taught that homosexuality was not a choice? Their churches? (At least one of the two wore a rosary to court.) The media, who refers to being gay as "a lifestyle," making it seem as if sexual orientation is like choosing between being a ski bunny in Aspen or a beach bum in Boca? Our politicians, who at worst exploit homophobia and at best still can’t muster an unyielding defense of the marginalized LGBT community? Our entire culture? All of the above?

And worse yet, we've failed the victim of these idiots' ignorance and thuggery. Our casual disregard for the inevitable consequences of allowing such bigotry and stupidity to flourish uncontested will be the unnamed co-conspirator on any indictments in this case. And so shall it be, until we treat with all due seriousness the evil of homophobia.

(Crossposted at Shakespeare's Sister.)

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