Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lawerence King

I was just reading more about Larry King and how the trials for his murderer are proceeding...

If you don't know, Larry was a 15-year-old boy from Oxnard, California. He was openly gay. He asked Brandon McInerney to be his Valentine. The day before Valentines day, this year, Brandon came to school with a gun. He shot Larry in English class.


One: McInerney's representation has the audacity to plead NOT GUILTY. Because McInerney, a 14-year-old, is being charged as an adult. While legally, he cannot be charged a minor, they want a charge of manslaughter rather than first degree murder and hate crime. He knowingly killed another human being. At 14 years of age we aren't exempt from the moral codes of everyone else. Youth is not an excuse for ignorance or violence. McInerney's actions should earn him the consequence for first degree murder as a hate crime. Not manslaughter. 53-life won't bring Larry back, but it will speak volumes to McInerney and to those like him.

Two: Larry was a ward of the state. I haven't been able to find the details as to why. But he wasn't in the custody of his parents at the time of his death. He was living in a home for abuse, neglected, and troubled youth. Larry was gender-nonconforming. He wore make-up and high heels to school. His parents, who at the time of his death were not his legal guardians, are suing the school. They're suing the school because the school did not enforce the dress code. This, they claim, made Larry a target.

Being different makes us a target, eh?

It is horrifying that it isn't safe to be different. That people will kill us for being different. That people will sue a societal institution for not making us be the same.

And don't think by "us" I only mean LGBT. I mean each one of us who is does not fit nicely into the norm. I mean us. Those different of orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion or lack thereof, dress, social standing, and secular opinions.

1 comment:

CJ said...

This whole situation is horrifying, of course - but as for the parents suing the school, I can see the logic behind that. It was the school's responsibility to make sure he was protected, and if the way he was dressing was making him a target (which, sadly, it was), they should have stepped in and warned Larry. It would have been the same thing if Larry was wearing gang symbols - I'm not comparing homosexuality to belonging to a gang, but can you see the similarities? If you flaunt your membership in a gang, people who are in rival gangs will be more eager to hurt you. Larry was open about his sexuality and chose not to conform to traditional gender role, two choices that are admirable but which made him vulnerable to the ignorance and intolerance of his peers. The school administrators should have spoken to Larry to make sure that he was aware of the situation and the not doing so, they neglected him and it cost him his life. They deserve to pay for that in some way.