The Son of a Child Killer

I know nothing of this event as it happened in the UK, but I can sympathize with the man whose story it is. It can be difficult enough being gay in a familial situation where everyone thinks it’s a sin, but how much worse is it to be abused on top of it? He’s definitely found a good man in his husband, one who stood by him during the worst parts of his adulthood.

Nick Castree was 27 when his father Ronald was charged with the murder of an 11-year-old girl, a dark secret hidden from the family for more than 30 years.

Full story

signature

Chechnya police encourage parents to kill gay kids

This is just barbaric and sickening. Clearly rather than progressing toward an advanced civilization, we’re starting to go back. At every level in many countries around the world, not just Chechnya. This world is getting more and more fucked up and I am losing hope of surviving.

Chechnya’s police force has issued a chilling warning to the parents of gay men.

According to a survivor’s account, the authorities have instructed parents in the region to murder their gay children for “honour”.

Full story

signature

Book Review

This is not my book review, but one written by a dear friend who read the book and also told me about it.

51wjddkgfjl-_sx327_bo1204203200_ To read this story of Kitty Genovese is to learn much about ourselves, but not the lessons one might think.

The popular narrative which held for many years about the 1964 murder case in the New York City borough of Queens was “38 witnesses” who stood by as a young woman was stabbed to death and did nothing to help. This led to genuine research into what was coined the “bystander effect”, but it was not wholly accurate of what happened that night.

The real story teaches us to look critically at our insatiable need for outrage with the false superiority it provides. Sensationalism may get the world talking about something, however it is often at the price of a much deeper truth.

What happened to Kitty was a horrific tragedy for reasons much more complex than the reported apathy of people who heard her screams. The investigation into her death involved things about her personal life completely irrelevant to how she died.

When the detectives discovered she was a lesbian, their attitudes changed as well as their handling of the case. In 1964, same sex relationships were against the law in many places, which made for tensions between the police and the LGBT community. Although her killer was caught and convicted, the fact that her life and partner were placed under prejudicial scrutiny should never be forgotten.

The New York Times published a story about the case that painted the Kew Gardens neighborhood in Queens with a broad brush of callous insensitivity. It was not a fair assessment of the actual reactions, which the author explains in carefully researched detail. Cook is critical of the Times for sensationalizing the story, however he does give a nod to them for bringing what had been a footnote in most papers to national news status.

There is much to learn here, not the least of which includes an examination into the bystanders. Rather than simplifying that people didn’t care or believed someone else had called for help, we are shown individual responses. We are shown that our brains don’t take in all of what is happening, that reports of what people were able to see were mistaken, and how past experience in an environment affects how a situation is viewed.

We are taken back to a time before the 911 emergency call system with many people not having instant access to a phone. We are reminded that acts of compassion are not always acknowledged. We learn about her killer and his twisted motives. We see that sometimes a bystander is a friend who “doesn’t want to get involved”.

Kitty Genovese deserves to be more than a sensationalized textbook case of a behavioral effect. This book gives her story and memory a most prestigious honor–the truth.

Matthew Shepard died 18 years ago today

I am loathe to admit that 18 years ago I was in my own little world, ignorant of what went on beyond who I was at the time. My heart breaks for anyone who is ever attacked or even simply ignored and treated as a non-entity because of who they are.

It was 18 years ago today that Matthew Shepard died from severe head injuries after being abducted and tortured by two men who left him to die – tied to a fence – near the town of Laramie, Wyoming.

The college student was just 21.

The attackers were arrested and eventually sentenced to two-consecutive life sentences each for one of the most notorious hate crimes in U.S. history.

‘October is always a very difficult month because it’s the anniversary,’ Shepard’s high school friend, Michele Josue, said last week after a screening on the Paramount Studios lot of her documentary Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine.

‘He was a wonderful human being and we miss him terribly.’

Full story

signature

Police: Sexuality Not Main Factor In Dad’s Killing Of Gay Son

I’m sorry, but police officers are not psychologists. No matter what was said, you’re a bit naive if you think sexuality wasn’t a bigger factor than claimed.

Los Angeles police detectives said this week that the primary reason a man fatally shot his adult son was not because his son was gay, as prosecutors previously alleged over the weekend.

LAPD homicide Detective John Doerbecker told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that Shehada Issa’s anger over the sexual orientation of his 38-year-old son, Amir Issa, was a factor in his murder, but not the main motivation.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office previously said Amir was 29.

Doerbecker told the Times that Shehada was possibly trying to cover up that he had stabbed his wife to death the previous day.

Full story

signature

Texas Man Gets 10 Years Probation For Death Of Transgender Woman

Seriously? A woman dies and the best we can do is probation????? Oh, but she’s a transgender. And it’s Texas. So a slap on the wrist should do. Sorry, my bad.

A Dallas man was sentenced to 10 years probation Tuesday after pleading guilty to aggravated assault in the death of a transgender woman who he called his life partner — causing outrage among family members.

Jonathan Stuart Kenney, 29, assaulted Janette Tovar, 43, in October 2012 after an argument between the two escalated, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Dallas Morning News.

Authorities say Kenney slammed Tovar’s head into the concrete about a block away from their apartment, and continued the assault after getting home, according to the affidavit. He then called police that afternoon to report that Tovar was not breathing or responsive, according to a police report. A medical examiner ruled Tovar died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Full story

signature