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Death by Flirting

March 29th, 2008 · 6 Comments · Comedy, Culture, Education, Hate Crimes, Human Rights, Journalism, LGBT, Media, News, TV

From Friday’s AP story on Lawrence King:

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Larry King was a gay eighth-grader who used to come to school in makeup, high heels and earrings. And when the other boys made fun of him, he would boldly tease them right back by flirting with them.

That may have been what got him killed.

No, that is not what got him killed. What got him killed was not his flirting, but the homophobic response of his classmates to that flirting.

It was the homophobic attitudes that our culture instills in children who are allowed to grow up believing they don’t know any gay people or have any gay family members. Who aren’t allowed to see men kiss each other on television or in movies. Who are aggressively sheltered from all such images by bigots who want to make sure the next generation grows up hating gay people just as much as they do.

Dear media: I know you’re on tight deadlines, but please be careful and take the time to assign blame to the correct party when you write these stories.

Here’s a handy clue: Very often, blame should be assigned to the person who did the shooting, rather than the person who got shot.

As has been observed by others before me, if women were to one day start killing anyone whose flirting they found unwelcome, there wouldn’t be a single heterosexual man left alive in America the next morning.

Related: You might also consider assigning blame to moronic talk show comedians who use homosexuality as an automatic punch line in their moronic nightly monologues, reinforcing the idea that homosexuality is inherently ridiculous. Jay Leno, I’m giving you my gayest look.


6 Comments so far ↓

  • Jack Greyson

    Oh here we go nitpicking about the particular sentence structure & throwing a big fit about it. If it weren’t that, you would be whining about there being no coverage at all. Yes, it’s sad, terribly so, but also for the shooter who’s life & that of his family is wrecked as well. He too was struggling with the typical challenges of his age & puberty & was also from an abusive family, etc just as the victim. One because more masculine as a defense & one became more feminine. It’s not so black & white, but certainly the sentence structure of an article is the least of anyone within reason’s concerns.

    I saw your post at Kos & surely this comment will be blocked or deleted because the single issue ilk have to cram their dogma down our throats, no better than the far right evangelicals to name the truth. The difference is the evangelicals have carried their party to victory, whilst the gay-rights first crowd has caused us defeat, so considering we’re in a fight to pick a nominee (it’s over but still we’re not official until Hillary drops), and McCain is a stronger candidate than given credit for & the far right is awfully resilient, let’s please focus on winning the white house instead of screaming about single issues which turn off the majority of the country. Or shall we let you’re choice of what’s most important give us 4 more years just like in 2004???

  • amyc

    Dear Jack:



  • jim s.

    so whose rights should be “first”?

  • jim s.

    by the way, the following is from an op/ed piece written in the student newspaper at Mississippi State University [via Queerty]:

    “By imposing his homosexuality on McInerney, [King] may have set McInerney off. McInerney may not have had an innate hatred of gay people. In fact, he may have tolerated homosexuality, while simultaneously thinking it was immoral, sinful or simply “uncool,” like many people do. King, however, may have gone too far by imposing his sexuality on others. Although King by no means deserved his fate, he may have unfortunately invited it.”

    so, a 13-year-old boy “invited” another boy to kill him. but let’s not make too big a deal of it or how it’s covered, because we’ll just wind up losing the presidential election this year, “just like in 2004.”

  • Steve Sturm

    Perhaps we should adopt Mayor Daley’s logic and assert Larry King was not killed by the other young man, but rather by the gun. Because people don’t hate, objects do.

    It occurs to me that your take is much better than the article’s, but still slightly off. Perhaps King was not shot due to a homophobic reaction to King’s conduct, but rather a fear by the shooter (possibly well-founded) of the homophobic reaction and harassment coming to him from his peers as a result of King’s “flirting” with the shooter.

    I hope it is not offensive for me to suggest that in that nonexistent “ideal world” we dream of, King would have had the foresight to not act in a manner that potentially would subject another person to homophobic gay-bashing, although I admit it is unrealistic to expect someone in the above-described situation having that kind of subtle perception of unintended consequences.

  • kev

    For God sakes, the SHOOTER is responsible!!!!!!! THE SHOOTER, THE GUY WHO SHOT THE GUN!! For God sakes, there is no justification, none whatsoever for one human to shoot another over flirting or words or hate or, oh it’s just so sad….

    Let’s not make it complicated. Don’t kill. Don’t kill anybody. Don’t carry around a gun, just in case you might want to kill somebody.