Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stop Blaming the Victim

Can we please, please stop blaming Larry King for his death?

Larry King didn't fire the gun at his head - another student, Brandon McInerney, did. But from the language in articles and op-eds, you might be led to believe his gender non-conformity somehow brought his murder on himself. Because it's "ok" for students to act out violently against GLBT students who are different. Boys will be boys.

At least that's the tone in Larry King's local newspaper, The Ventura County Star. Michael Mehas penned an op-ed that digs up the same tired "gay panic" argument we blogged about a few weeks ago when Newsweek published an article that also question whether Larry's "behavior" - wearing makeup, high heels - encouraged violence.

One argument that keeps popping up is that Larry's flirting with Brandon (among other boys) sent Brandon over the edge. It's pretty plain to see that Larry showed a great deal of courage, actually. Rather than cowering, Larry stood up to his bullies with the only weapon he had; himself. He forced his bullies to confront their own sexuality and homophobia. And even if that were not the case, even if Brandon truly did have feelings for Brandon, it just makes the case all that more sad.

We do such a disservice to Larry by excusing his murderer's action as somehow understandable because, after all, Larry was gay and wore makeup. It sounds so much like when rapists accuse their victims of "asking for it" by dressing provocatively. It doesn't make sense and it needs to stop.

1 comment:

NG said...

Michael Mehas, the male Gloria Allred.