Look at the recent coverage of hate crimes against the LGBT community (when there is any coverage) and one theme is clear:
We are asking for it.
With the senseless death of 15 year-old Lawrence King, the phrase “a personality dispute between the boys” seems to be the easy way to explain the shooting. The same is true in the stabbing death of Sanesha Stewart, a transgender woman in the Bronx. All stories talk about her “fooling” the man she was with, driving him to kill her. It seems just being gay or transgender is an accepted reason to be killed.
Or in other words: when we live openly, we are asking for it.
All one has to do is listen to the rhetoric continually aimed at our community. Phrases like “as long as they don’t throw it in my face” or “I don’t care what they do in the privacy of their home as long as I don’t have to see it” all play into this idea that when we live at all openly, we deserve what comes our way.
The constant dehumanization of our community only makes it easier for our society to write off murders and violence against LGBT people as understandable and acceptable. When being LGBT is used as the sole reason for being killed, and the idea that it is an acceptable reason is pushed by the media and police, the message comes through loud and clear to our community.
These hate crimes are meant as lessons telling our community to go back into the closet and live in fear. They are meant to marginalize our lives and make hating us okay.
This violence is meant to tell us to stop asking for it.
Cross-posted on the Homo Politico