home repairs

John Rechy suggests in a Commentary piece in Sunday's LATimes that gratitude may not be the appropriate response to the decision in Lawrence and Garner vs. the State of Texas.

Without in any way belittling the decency of the justices in their brave opinion, some might view the decision as a vastly imperfect apology for the many lives devastated by cruel laws that made possible the myriad humiliations of gay people, the verbal assaults and screams of "faggot!" — the muggings, the suicides, the murders — all occurring even during this time of victory. The flagrant dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia and two of his colleagues — in an effort to uphold the Texas law — will help to keep fertile the atmosphere of hatred that allowed three men to mangle Trevor Broudy in West Hollywood and allowed Matthew Shepherd to be butchered in Wyoming.
No, we cannot be grateful.

Rechy writes only about the modern American experience,* but the horror is on a much larger scale than that. Violence against perceived sexual and behavioral deviation, never bounded by geography or time, continues today and beyond today, here and everywhere.

Instead of showing gratitude, we should be demanding reparations, and, since millions, even billions, of queers who have been crippled physically and psychologically for millenia by the assaults of a dumb, blind, malicious and implacable sexual establishment are now dead, lost or beyond recovery, the blood money and the attention should go to endow lively support centers for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and transexual youth at risk everywhere, like New York's Y.E.S. No groups need more help and no groups can do more to repair us right here and around the world, now and maybe forever.


* One story excerpted from the LATimes piece:

In 1973, California finally repealed its anti-sodomy laws. But still, in 1977, driving home from UCLA in the early evening, I saw muggers fleeing from the man they had assaulted on the street. I drove the bleeding man to the police station so that a squad car would be sent to the area. The bruised man — clearly gay — was returning home with groceries when attacked. At the station, the sergeant studied him after I had recounted what I had seen, and asked him, "What did you try to do with those guys?"

[thanks to Barry]

About this Entry

Published on July 1, 2003 1:07 PM.

previous entry: god made him do it

next entry: QUEERS READ THIS!