Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dehumanizing Headline of the Week

I came across this headline last week, at 365Gay no less:

"Lesbian teen guilty of school murder"

The teenager was found guilty of shooting a friend after the friend rejected her advances. While this unfortunate case has a sense of Romance Gone Awry, this girl's sexual orientation is no more relevant than is the sexual orientation of a man who kills a woman (or women) for rejecting him, or a woman who kills a man for rejecting her advances. Indeed, the media often goes out of its way to hide a male murderer, gay basher, or rapist in the passive voice and frame him as an Otherwise Nice Guy Who Snapped That One Time.

Why is it that the sexual orientation of a gay person is always noted when a gay person is accused or found guilty of misbehavior? Sexual orientation is rarely, if ever, mentioned with respect to heterosexual criminals. To even bring it up implies that it is somehow relevant, perhaps as a causative factor, to the person's behavior. She's not a girl like how other (read, heterosexual) 16-year old girls are girls, she's a lezzzzzzbian.

Undoubtedly, anti-gay forces use Gays Behaving Badly stories as proof of the inherent pathology of LGBT people. Instead of focusing on mourning a tragedy, discussions of homosexuality ensue and more abuse is piled onto the LGBT community.

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