Sunday, July 27, 2008

A show of hands...


Which would you consider more of a problem at a junior high school?

A. Students being openly flamboyant about their sexual identities and dressing up, creating a distraction to other students?

or

B. Students SNEAKING HANDGUNS INTO CLASSROOMS AND KILLING THEIR CLASSMATES IN COLD BLOOD?

As you can tell by the lettering above, my choice is (B). The only sane choice is (B). But apparently Newsweek thinks it's (A). (Link courtesy of Ami.) Several paragraphs in this article are dedicated to the difficulties teachers, faculty, and students face when dealing with students like Larry King with gender/sexual identities that are different from the "mainstream".

The amount of space alloted to the question of how King's 14-year-old killer(!) was able to get his hands on a handgun so easily? ONE SENTENCE.

And of course students like King should know better than to expect to be themselves without fear of fatal violence. Who the hell do they think they are, human beings?

Nice priorities, Newsweek.

7 Comments:

At 2:19 AM , Blogger Ami Angelwings said...

the comments in that article made me sick b/c of all the ppl saying A is the bigger problem and acting as if Lawrence was the bully and Brandon the victim :( the article also acts as if a kid having a gun at school is normal and incidental to the whole thing, that kids have guns at school, and the important thing is cutting down on what might provoke them to use it >:O

it is sad that when other ppl bring guns to school to shoot at ppl they believe are bullying them, the media is unrelenting on how horrible they are and omg is there a gun problem, but the murder of a queer child, is seen as almost understandable, that a guy who was hit on by a male assigned person has legitimate reasons to feel like he should kill them :(

it's very upsetting :(

 
At 11:01 PM , Blogger notintheface said...

My gender/sexual identity has always been closer to Brandon's than to yours or Lawrences's, and I know first-hand how stressful being on the wrong end of gay rumors can be at that age (or in my case, slightly younger) in the school environment. However, Brandon eradicated any sympathy I might have even imagined having for him when he decided to take another human being's life.

It just pisses me off that some people use another person being different (race, sexual ID) as an excuse to throw their own moral codes out the window, as if that person's difference somehow makes it OK. It pisses me off more when a major media outlet like Newsweek lets them get away with it.

 
At 3:41 PM , Blogger Ami Angelwings said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:29 PM , Blogger Ami Angelwings said...

My gender/sexual identity has always been closer to Brandon's than to yours or Lawrences's, and I know first-hand how stressful being on the wrong end of gay rumors can be at that age (or in my case, slightly younger) in the school environment.

So did I. I was taken as a boy too. I grew up in the same homophobic school environment where being gay is a slur and being accused of being gay or "being a girl" meant bullying, taunts, ostracization. For me, I had to deny who I was, not just who I was accused of being. I wished they WERE just rumours, that it WAS just a false accusation! But it shouldn't be something you can "accuse" ppl of being in the first place b/c being gay or trans should NOT BE A SLUR. I should not have to feel that who I am is an insult.

And it's not an excuse for homophobia and it's not Lawrence's fault, even if Brandon did NOT kill him.

The fault is in our homophobic heteronormative society for creating an environment where "gay rumours" CAN harm ppl, where "gay" is a slur, where being associated with a queer kid carries a stigma for a child. >:\

I dun mean to sound mad... :\ I just felt like you were saying that b/c I'm trans, I wouldn't understand what it was like to be subject to "gay rumours" growing up "as a boy". :\

I'm sry if that's not what you meant :(

 
At 6:02 PM , Blogger Ami Angelwings said...

I AM very concerned that it is a major media outlet like Newsweek pushing this view too and if this will engender more queerphobia with the idea that we have "too many rights" and that to prevent this we need to curb children's expressions of their identity, be MORE heterocentric and just keep queer ppl out of the way of hetero cisppl :(

 
At 10:22 AM , Blogger notintheface said...

"I dun mean to sound mad... :\ I just felt like you were saying that b/c I'm trans, I wouldn't understand what it was like to be subject to "gay rumours" growing up "as a boy". :\

I'm sry if that's not what you meant :( "

It's definitely not what I meant, but it's my fault and not yours if it came off like that.

What I was shooting for was that, even if I attempted to look at Brandon's vicious actions from a "devil's advocate" point of view, I could only find his actions wrong and inexcusable.

The reason? Correct me if I'm wrong here, but kids are taught to know that killing or violence is wrong long before they have the first clue to what their sexual identity is or what the words "sexual identity" even mean.
Yet Brandon, like too many others, betrayed this vital and fundamental teaching just because someone around him was "different". People have been using this lame excuse for centuries. Slavery, Nazi Germany, "ethnic cleansing", you name it. The other person is "subhuman" in the victimizers' eyes and that's supposed to make the victimizers' behavior all OK. But it doesn't!

And, for the record, I cannot imagine going through what you did in school vs. what I went through. Your experience sounds much worse, and if I appeared to state otherwise, I did not intend to and I apologize.

So I hope I didn't drive you off, especially since my next post will involve Supergirl kicking ass.

- nitf

 
At 11:51 AM , Blogger notintheface said...

"I AM very concerned that it is a major media outlet like Newsweek pushing this view too and if this will engender more queerphobia with the idea that we have "too many rights" and that to prevent this we need to curb children's expressions of their identity, be MORE heterocentric and just keep queer ppl out of the way of hetero cisppl :( "

I don't blame you. That Newsweek story was the classic blame-the-victim mentality. They should have known better.

 

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