By J. DeVoy
I wanna belong, I wanna be proud;
But your gay-bashing voices are so fuckin’ loud
-Bill Moseley*, “Feelin’ Chicken“
A Buffalo woman was stabbed in the eye by two other women as she exited a popular lesbian bar on New Year’s Eve. As if this wasn’t horrific enough, two women were arrested in an unrelated incident for attacking a man in the parking lot of a shopping center because they suspected he was gay. The details:
Lindsay C. Harmon said she and two friends were minding their own business as they walked out of Roxy’s, a lesbian nightclub, at about 2 a.m. Friday to head home when two women, in the company of four men, shouted gay slurs at them and then attacked them.
Harmon, a 29-year-old West Side resident, does not have vision in her eye, and it is not known whether she will regain it. She has seven stitches in her right eyelid and eye, along with several stitches in her right cheek and her left arm.
The stabber was described as a 19- to 23-year-old, pale white-skinned female, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, 120 to 130 pounds, with wavy, dirty blond hair and wearing a tiara that was left at the scene. She also was wearing a white-colored bubble coat, brown boots and blue jeans. Her companion, also white, was estimated to be 22 to 24 years of age, about 140 pounds with dark hair.
Without making light of the situation, the investigation of the assailant’s identity could be aided by one particular website; seriously, wavy blond hair, a tiara and a bubble coat? Not quite the “are country” uniform of denim and faded t-shirts splashed with maudlin patriotic imagery of cliffs and eagles, but intolerance doesn’t have a dress code, either.
The most surprising aspect of this event is that the women allegedly committed the violent act themselves. With four men present, one would almost expect the women to defer to their larger counterparts to administer an ass-beating. This kind of white-knighting has led to 11-on-1 beatdowns over trivial misunderstandings, so the in-gender character of this event is somewhat surprising. Then again, seeing that Elin Nordegren initiated her attack on Tiger Woods by throwing the first punch nine iron, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising.
Finally, and most obviously, this is the absolute wrong way to make a political point about homosexuality. Those opposed to gay rights obviously have better channels than physical violence to disseminate their point, as every state to put gay marriage to a public vote has rejected it. These incidences tend to support the LGBTQ community’s view that people opposing gay marriage aren’t doing it for family values or some other reason, but are actually just bigots. A quick thought experiment: are cynical urbane types who would prefer to govern special interest groups through a policy of benign neglect more likely to oppose homosexuals, or are self-described libertarians who talk about Ayn Rand (often without reading her naive work) yet miss the irony of expressing their political beliefs through jingoistic bullshit like “keep your government hands off my medicare“?
I recently lambasted Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels for attempting to delegitimize the speech of athiests, effectively undermining their right to be heard in public fora and diminishing the ethical directive for private entities to allow as much free speech as possible. The same principle applies here. Regardless of what people think of homosexuality, it’s always wrong to use fear and intimidation to stifle debate. Policy, opinions and decisions should be founded on objectivity rather than pity, prejudice, or the desire to conform to a crowd motivated by narcissism and stupidity. (Hint: I’m referring to popular culture.)
The perpetrators’ actions, as claimed, are criminal. I hope they’re found and face swift justice for causing such harm to another human being. On a deeper level, this violence strains the threads of democracy. The public debate needed for good decisions and building consensus is made impossible when a few lunatics ruin it for everyone. That crime deserves a punishment far more severe than what a court will mete out for the physical harm the accused attackers caused.
*Moseley, best known for his roles as Chop Top in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Otis Driftwood in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, and Luigi Largo in Repo! The Genetic Opera, is a graduate of Yale University. Crazy, no?