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Author Topic: Gay bashing  (Read 158639 times)

Offline gnash

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2006, 03:49:38 AM »
wow michael --- you've really been the brunt of anti-gay stuff! i'm so sorry to hear that. yes, it's true, big cities are indeed full of stuff like that... it's not just rural areas is it?  living in the bay area i've been exposed to the same type of stuff, less so here in LA, oddly enough. it seems that in SF, many straight people just assume that a guy in SF (gay mecca that it is) that looks different must be gay.... :::sigh:::

that little kids are saying stuff to you like that is especially alarming.... maricon out of the mouths of babes!  yuck.

louise --- of course the statistics are wrong. none of the incidents i experienced were ever reported, and i imagine most "bashings" done to others, unless there's great physical harm done, are even brought to the attention of police.

dsmom --- your story reminds me of a friend, sam, that tried to sue the company he worked for. the boss's son was a real cocky fellow and would come up to sam, grab his ass and mock "hump" him, saying "i'm gonna f**k your sweet a**" and stuff like that. he would call him names (fag, etc.) and the harassment was relentless. sam is a married man, btw, and very masculine, so i don't get it. the boss's son just had a grudge against him, i suppose.

anyway, after a few weeks of this he tried to sue the guy. sam lived in a small town here in california and was basically laughed at by everybody, saying he should be a good sport about it, that the cocky guy was only "joking."  sam wanted to pursue the case but he lost his will due to the lack of support he got, at his workplace, by his family (who felt it was embarrassing, i guess), and even his lawyer, who wasn't enthusiastic about the case and suggested he drop it. of course he should have gotten a new lawyer, but the fact is sam soon realized that it was going to be a difficult time, and just gave up. sad, really.

as a result he had to leave his job, because after he filed complaints everybody pretty much looked down on him and the harassment took on a different tone.

regarding racist bashings. i feel that when minorities are involved, there isn't enough said. do you think if matthew shepard was black found and tied to a fence in brooklyn, that he'd be so famous? i somehow doubt it. my friend was found hanging from a tree with cigarette burns on his chest, tortured... nothing was said, and he was black. if it's a white person, it seems there's all kinds of concern. look at the girl in aruba or whatever -- she got a big story in vanity fair -- it seems so commoon that if you're young, pretty and white, it's big news. meanwhile, people of color and gays are killed and not much is said. no, the other people are not important, at least that's what it seems like they want us to think. brushed under the rug, as usual....

bibra --- well yeah. it's hard times right now for a lot of people living (and trying to love) in this world, but i wouldn't blame all of it on testosterone in men and boys. we have to realize that the mothers (and fathers) that raise these boys have a lot to do with their attitudes. the little boys that called michael "maricon" might have learned those words from their mother. perhaps she used that word around them. i know mothers and sisters that have called their own children "faggot" and other hateful names.. so, it goes beyond testosterone, IMO. it's upbringing, and culture, and some of these same people are so damn proud of their hateful beliefs... they spread it around like butter.


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Offline gnash

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2006, 04:08:35 AM »
i'd like to bring up gaybashing in the media and advertising.

tonight at the movies there was an ad for some TV show on lifetime or some other channel. there's a scene where they talk about showing off family photos of your kids. the father of the child is at work standing at the urinals next to a coworker, and says something like, "i've got something really amazing to show you."

the next scene is the father is standing there with a black eye... (huge laughs from the audience.)

what it does is make a joke of gay bashing, of being gay. the producers of this bit wanted to incite humor by saying that if you are even mistaken for being gay, you'll get beat up, and "ha ha ha" isn't that funny?

this sort of gay "humor" is rampant in the media. it's gaybashing, IMO. it's telling viewers that gay is bad, or at least a joke, and that it's okay to make fun of gays and to bash them. and it's not just on TV, it's on radio and print advertising as well.

i suppose it is much like the sexist tv ads that women despise so much. if we complain, we're not good sports. if we call for change, they say we are whining. but other groups can protest a company's attachment to something "gay" and businesses will comply to their demands. it's no wonder hollywood actors don't admit to being gay -- they know that by doing so the will get bashed in their professional life and personal life as well.

i know humor is a way of dealing with misfortune, but this kind of media gaybashing is twisted. the way prison rape is treated is often a big joke in the media. the "don't drop the soap" and "prison boyfriend" jokes abound, but the reality is that men in prison can be brutally raped and even killed during these attacks, and it's not funny at all.

but in the outside world, many people, including advertising media and television scriptwriters, think it's something to laugh about. and most of america, is seems, agrees.

"Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden."  Ang Lee


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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2006, 07:29:23 AM »
I liked the segment on "Queer As Folk" where the Pink Posse was created to avenge victims of gay bashing. They gave those bullies a taste of their own medicine. :D

Offline mountain boy

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2006, 07:51:00 AM »
Okay so now that we seem to have a consensus that assaulting gays is one of the most underreported and widespread crimes you all know about, can someone please explain how anyone on this forum of all places, can say it "hardly ever happens"? Isn't that what Brokeback Mountain is all about? The thing that "hardly ever happens" but obviously - does?
I wonder if it's a well-intended (but misleading) thing, meaning to say "don't stay in the closet for fear of gay-bashing, because not everybody gets beat up"  ....

On the other hand there are gays who are self-righteous about bashing anything they see as the "gay agenda."

I guess I'm self-righteous about the self-righteous!   :D

Offline gnash

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2006, 08:54:06 PM »
i dunno if this is gaybashing or what. but it's something.

late one evening my BF and i went to dave's diner in oakland, california. two cops were in the back room eating. lemon, a well-loved vietnamese waitress, seated us in a nearby booth, close to an overhead television playing saturday night live, and david bowie was the music guest... this was the mid 80's or so.

the cops had seen us come in, and who knows, maybe they thought we were gay. was it because we sat in the same side of the booth? that's a tip, i guess, but the fact is we wanted to watch SNL together, so it was easier to face the screen.

it wasn't a big deal to us, and while it was early and just us and the cops, the diner would soon fill with young and old kids after a night out on the town. both gay and straight, black and white, a good mix (often better than the food, heh). a gay bar was nearby, so the diner often filled with gay men, and so, we felt comfortable sitting like that. you know, the way straight couples sit together sometimes, just so they can be close to each other. but my BF and i weren't hand in hand, or kissing. we weren't even touching each other.

but it made the cops uncomfortable. one looked at the other one and gave him a "get a load of that" type of look. both glared at us, shook their heads, laughed.

then when bowie came on the TV, on cop said called him a "faggot.". he were really loud and looked at us when he said it. yeah yeah.. it wasn't a big deal to me, these were good ol' white boys with attitude... it wasn't like we were surprised, and thought i'd get over it.

but it didn't stop there.

the other cop agreed with his friend, and they went on saying they couldn't believe why that "faggot" was popular. went on about the "faggoty ass" music these days. back and forth, on and on, they laughed at their hateful words, even imitating bowie with a falsetto voice.  then, one of them stood up and changed the channel, then stared at us in a challenging manner.

of course, we didn't say a thing and averted his stare. these were oakland cops and we were well aware of their bad repuation, sadly enough... these particular cops were the real "scary monsters" in this situation...

but then lemon came in and cried out, "WHO CHANGE A CHANNEL?"  my lover and i quickly pointed to the cops. she swatted them on the head with menus good naturedly. "HEY NOW, YOU NO TOUCH TV!" she cried, with a big smile on her face. she then hopped on a chair to reach the TV knob.

haha! what could they do? they didn't dare talk back to lemon, she served their food, afterall, and was a fixture in this place with more popularity than they could imagine. they sort of grunted and mumbled a bit, and that's about it.

soon, bowie was back on. lemon even turned up the volume. we got glares from the cops for tattling on them, but with lemon around we almost felt safe, but they had basically ruined the moment for us... thankfully, they were done eating and left, but not without another comment about "fags" on the way out directed to us. oh, you can bet we were on the lookout for them when we finally left the diner an hour or so later. (sad but true.)

to hear two cops so brazenly hateful was frightening... if that's how they speak to each other while eating a meal,,, those anti-gay attitudes could very well be amplified in an adrenaline inducing situation.

it's a good thing not all policemen act like this.

"Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden."  Ang Lee


Offline dsmom

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2006, 10:00:50 PM »
Here's the thing...I don't care if it happens a million times a day or once a year....for the person who is hurt and the people who love him ONCE is too DAMN many times...

I HATE this thread...I HATE that there is a NEED for this thread...

I HATE that there are people in this world so lost to anything that is good or just that  can walk among us and we can't even tell the ROT on their souls..

I HATE that I am going to send MY child out into a world that allows this to happen...

There is the light and the dark and all things that live have the power to choose...

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2006, 10:27:14 PM »
I HATE that I am going to send MY child out into a world that allows this to happen...

Well, you know Jess, Heidi has her kids in self-defense (and takes it herself too, I think).  I don't think that's a bad idea.  Also, there's a great book 'The Gift of Fear' by Gavin De Becker:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0440226198/sr=8-1/qid=1145939045/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-9759416-7632809?%5Fencoding=UTF8

And another one on kids called 'Protecting the Gift':

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0440509009/ref=pd_bxgy_text_b/002-9759416-7632809?%5Fencoding=UTF8

That are pretty good.

Some of us have been living with terrorism for a long time.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2006, 10:41:34 PM »
wow michael --- you've really been the brunt of anti-gay stuff! i'm so sorry to hear that. yes, it's true, big cities are indeed full of stuff like that... it's not just rural areas is it?  living in the bay area i've been exposed to the same type of stuff, less so here in LA, oddly enough. it seems that in SF, many straight people just assume that a guy in SF (gay mecca that it is) that looks different must be gay.... :::sigh:::

that little kids are saying stuff to you like that is especially alarming.... maricon out of the mouths of babes!  yuck.

{snip}

regarding racist bashings. i feel that when minorities are involved, there isn't enough said. do you think if matthew shepard was black found and tied to a fence in brooklyn, that he'd be so famous? i somehow doubt it. my friend was found hanging from a tree with cigarette burns on his chest, tortured... nothing was said, and he was black. if it's a white person, it seems there's all kinds of concern. look at the girl in aruba or whatever -- she got a big story in vanity fair -- it seems so commoon that if you're young, pretty and white, it's big news. meanwhile, people of color and gays are killed and not much is said. no, the other people are not important, at least that's what it seems like they want us to think. brushed under the rug, as usual....

Well...actually the boys who called me 'maricon' were teens - and they didn't disturb me as much as the little kids in Michigan who called me 'fag' and threw rocks at me.  They couldn't have been more that 9 and 11.  That just hurt my heart that they were so hateful so young.

Regarding race, right around the same time Matthew Shephard was killed James Byrd was dragged to death in back of a truck.  Here's a sight that compares the coverage of the two crimes:

http://www.queerday.com/2004/jan/16/coverage_of_james_byrd_matthew_shepard_slayings_compared.html

Seems like you're right.  I think the same sort of thing can be said regarding class and/or economic status.  Think of how long it took to solve the Green River murders:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_River_Killer

The one positive thing I can say is that as you get older people seem to target you less for hate crimes (it's odd, but it seems true).  I think this is because they stop thinking of you as a sexual person.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2006, 10:44:33 PM »
i dunno if this is gaybashing or what. but it's something.
{snip}

Sure sounds like bashing to me - or at least an attempt to provoke and intimidate.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2006, 10:54:25 PM »
I've put off posting in this thread, although I was aware of what happened in the 'Were They Gay' topic several days ago.  I just read a few pages of the discussion there and I'm probably no less incensed than if I'd read it all the day it was posted.   

From my perspective, having lost someone who had been near and dear to me to a hideous hate crime:

In 1979 a guy who had been near and dear to me was the victim of hate-motivated murder.  He was stabbed in the back and left for dead.  We were not together when it happened - both our lives had moved on.  Autopsy results showed he had drowned in his own blood.  Sounds familiar, doesn't it?   The perps, for whatever reason, moved his body from the murder site and hid it in a more remote area.  I well remember the phone call I received when his body was found - several days after he had died alone in a bar ditch and his body further violated by the move.  The effect of his murder on me was intense and profound and still is.  I was emotionally unable to attend his funeral or even visit his final resting place until the 10th anniversary of his death.  His murderers were arrested, charged, tried and convicted.  They both were executed - some 14 years later.  There has never been, nor do I believe there can be, any sense of 'closure' for me, save his and so many other's story having now been validated to some degree by BBM.   I very infrequently visit the mausoleum where his body rests to leave flowers.  It's a cold, lonely place that holds no answers.  I can only hope that he somehow knows somebody still cares and that he is not forgotten.  I wouldn't wish this grief on anybody.  Jack's death in BBM brought it all back full force and it hasn't been easy, but it is slowly becoming more bearable.     

Glenn I am so sorry for your loss.  As I mentioned, a friend of mine was killed back in 1985 as well.

I understand what you mean about 'closure'.  Because Michael died in 1985 his death was part of a wave of death that I was going through then - it was really hard to sort out the feelings.

Thanks for telling us about this.  I know it's not easy to talk about, but it's important - because people (unfortunately including other gay people) want to deny that it happens.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline gnash

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2006, 10:59:00 PM »

Sure sounds like bashing to me - or at least an attempt to provoke and intimidate.

it was abuse of power, and a display of machismo and hate.   nothing new.... :(

sorry i got your attackers mixed up. yes, hearing "fag" and the rocks from nine year olds is pretty damn sad... i've heard it from younger kids. not toward myself, but in blockbuster two boys around five and eight were calling each other "faggot" because of they were fighting over a video game.

what does maricon mean anyway? sounds coconutty ;)  ooops i forgot this is the serious thread.  :-X

thanks for the bryd/shepard and green river links.

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Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2006, 11:08:30 PM »

Sure sounds like bashing to me - or at least an attempt to provoke and intimidate.

it was abuse of power, and a display of machismo and hate.   nothing new.... :(

sorry i got your attackers mixed up. yes, hearing "fag" and the rocks from nine year olds is pretty damn sad... i've heard it from younger kids. not toward myself, but in blockbuster two boys around five and eight were calling each other "faggot" because of they were fighting over a video game.

what does maricon mean anyway? sounds coconutty ;)  ooops i forgot this is the serious thread.  :-X

thanks for the bryd/shepard and green river links.

Maricon is 'faggot' in spanish.  Another term used is joto or in Puerto Rican slang pato.
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline gnash

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2006, 11:21:55 PM »

I HATE that I am going to send MY child out into a world that allows this to happen...


I can not begin to imagine how this topic affects you as a parent, Jess. I wish there were something, anything I could say to help - all I'm able to come up with is hope. Hope that there is more awareness, that people will realize this problem is freakin' real and that it is unacceptable that it has everhappened in any shape, form or fashion, yet continues to happen. I believe that BBM is a very positive step in that direction, but it's up to all of us to carry the message.

don't hate, don't fear, that's how it is... the time you spend hating could be spent training, explaining, making somebody see why and how homophobia not a good thing. a sixteen year old with the world at his feet can't spend time hating either. fear may draw negative energy to him. so go out brave, but be aware.

the bashings are real, and it's senseless, but they will continue to happen because... that's how it is. i really don't think there will be a time or place where there won't be some sort of dischordant harmony, at least to some degree. without it, the world would fail.. if everything is good, how will we know what is bad? no rain, no rainbows.

i don't mean to dissolve any sadness into frivolity, i just want to say that we can learn from misfortune. we need to address what is wrong in order to put a stop to the violence as much as possible. but even in utopia, there will be events that remind us that we're happy, most of the time.

that's why BBM is indeed a huge step, as it reveals to the world what it can be like for men trapped in their own homophobia and the results of homophobia in the outside world. the dreams shattered and lost are commonplace among so many men and women the WORLD over. imagine what it's like to be gay in a muslim nation, for instance. impossible. it's a world where women who've been raped are often stoned to death because they have "brought shame on their family."

i like the word gay, myself. i think some people have a problem with it (and those who choose the label) because of what it represents. happiness. sadly, many gay men and women are not happy. because of their lack of support growing up, because of the fear and the hiding, the shame, because of a lifetime of sadness or bad experiences. many of us, i dare say, are a fragile group. we have paid a hell of a price.

"Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden."  Ang Lee


Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2006, 11:34:19 PM »
Thank you, Michael.  My heart goes out to you for your loss and all that you have endured along the way.   I understand about the wave.  Hard days indeed. 

One of the very first posts I read on this forum was authored by Jack.  I believe he said 'Folks, we have paid a hell of a price'.  That line has been stuck in my head since.

We have indeed paid a hell of a price.  One of the things that we have not talked about here is suicide.  I have had a few friends die this way.  I really think that bashing has a big impact on that too.  Some people just can't stand the pain and just can't fight anymore.

Me - to coopt the AA saying - I say 'keep fighting back - it works!'
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline gnash

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Re: Gay bashing
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2006, 11:56:02 PM »
yeah, the suicide rate among gay men, especially teens, is really sad.

john, a handsome greek boy, died from suicide. his mother and sister put so much pressure on him that he caved in. the mother, a devout catholic, said "i'd rather have you dead than gay" to her son, in hopes of scaring him... i suppose, but he fulfilled her wishes when visiting her in chicago, on christmas day. i have a greek 'god's eye' pendant he hid in my apartment. he'd planned his suicide, as he was giving things away. i found also a photo of him tucked into a book on my shelf, years later.

i'd talked to his sister before, around thanksgiving, she tried to get me to rally behind her. i said no way. john is gay. after that, she wouldn't talk to me.

i often think of her and the mother, if they saw brokeback, if they came to realize. i hope they are on this forum, but i doubt it.

"Brokeback is about a lost paradise, an Eden."  Ang Lee