The Rutgers killing - how I view it - has brought up a lot of feelings and memories for me. The ones of being a gay teen and young adult fighting to change because I knew how others would react to my attraction to men. The thoughts of taking my life so many times to escape all of it. The Rutgers criminal act along with the recent suicides linked to bullying as well as this article above - have brought on a lot of unsettling inside me. Along with a crime that happened to someone I knew.
I came out not long before my assault so it was mired in all that crap. When I moved back to Oklahoma I had to sort and put my life back together somehow. I met a man who was older and very kind to me. He talked to me of living as gay man in a world that was hardly accepting. I spent a lot of time with him and we became good friends. We would meet after work and just talk for hours. He was my first mentor in finding my way as a gay man.
One night I was I was watching the news and I heard that a man had been murdered. As soon as I heard of where it was I wondered about him since it is a small area. I heard of how the man had been tied up and tortured. Of how he had been stoned to death. I made a phone call and was told that it was indeed my friend. I was told other details from the person I called. How the authories believed it was teens/young adults who had done this. How he had been beaten before the stoning. How he was covered in dirt except for the streaks where tears had ran down his face. It was the popular cruising spot in that area and he had been lured by whoever had murdered him.
The place is in a county where a year or so before a man had been shot to death in the same cruising area. The sheriff's comments? "Another fag hit the ground."
Last weekend I took a drive. I almost accidentally ended up in that area so I drove on to wherer my friend was killed. Much of the area is closed off now so I stood on the other side of the river as close to the opposite side of the site of the crime. I listened as the river roared down from the dam. I stared at the spot where he had died a horrible death at the hands of bigoted evil souls. And for some time I just honored the memory of a good man who had reached out to me. Of a man who worked hard and helped his extended family. Of a man who paid his taxes and led a decent life. Of a man who just happened to be gay.
Jerry did not deserve what those animals did to him. Neither did any of the other victims of those who have set themselves up as judge and jury to ditate to a portion of society how we should live. And especially those who, like Jerry's murderers, take on the role of executioner.
Silent? I will not be. Militant? Maybe at times it is called for in this life.
I do not talk of Jerry except very recently I shared this story with one very good friend here. I think he deserves to be remembered.
If we stand by and allow the bullying, inimidation and killing to continue to be inflicted upon any person then we are as guilty as those who raise a hand or torch to the victims. How horrible to look down and realize the blood is on our hands as well.
Behind every label is just a human. Just like me. Just like you.
Edited by prisonerID (10/09/10 11:37 PM)
Broad statements often miss their true mark.