While the defense lawyer in the Lawrence King shooting decided to take the most disgusting route possible- it was in fact, Larry's fault for being open about himself and the school's efforts to support him that got him killed.
I'm not surprised but it makes me sick.
The defense attorney, William Quest, said, "administrators were so intent on nurturing King as he explored his sexuality, allowing him to come to school wearing feminine makeup and accessories, that they downplayed the turmoil that his behavior was causing on campus."
So when a group of people decides to pick on a single person- who did have the constitutional right, "under long-established case law," to dress the way he did- it is the single person's responsibility to change?
Silly me, I would have thought it was a teachable moment. An opportunity to learn. I know, crazy to think that might happen in a school.
What if Larry was Black and decided to wear afro-centric clothes in a racist town. Would it be up to him to change? Would we excuse his killer because, well, he should have known better than to do that? Or would we be outraged by the senseless killing of someone simply because they were different.
Lawrence King had the constitutional right to be dressed the way he chose to be dressed. Brandon McInerney had no constitutional right to bring a gun into school and deal with his "discomfort" over King.
In the meantime, at Brewster High School, Michael Loscalzo has begun to wear women's clothes to school. He has been in therapy and is in the process of making the decision to transition to being a woman.
"Brewster Schools Superintendent Jane Sandbank reiterated that the district stresses respect and tolerance of all people.
"The school has been supportive of Michael and helping him work through his issues," Sandbank said. "Undergoing a sex change is a major choice for a young man to make. We would hope that the school would give appropriate guidance and ensure that he's not ridiculed or bullied."
Some of Loscalzo's peers have been supportive. Some have not. Some organized an "Equality Protest." Some have called him a freak.
I'm proud of Loscalzo, I'm proud of his mother who is scared but supports him, and I'm proud of his friends who rallied around him. He may transition and he may not. Sandbank is right. It is about tolerance and respect.
And I'm terrified the very tolerance and respect deserved may also get him killed.
Like Lawrence King.
Will we be blamed, again, for being out and proud? Because that's what it boils down to, being unashamed and out of the closet. I don't care if you are uncomfortable with my life. I will talk to you, try to inform you, share my experience so you can have a better understanding but if you don't like it still? You have no right to shoot me.
Your fear is not an acceptable reason to shoot me.
Defense attorney Quark was right about one thing. There were rising tensions between the two boys. King had been bullied for a long time.
The crime was when McInerney's when he pulled the trigger. He's a kid. He believed it was okay to kill someone. He needs help. Quark's defense only reinforces the belief that it's okay to kill someone who is different.
It only says, Lawrence King deserved to die.