Morning Briefs

I Am Gregory’s Distinct Lack of Empathy

This picture is so creepily on-the-nose I think I just offended myself.

Update: I read where authorities are looking to charge the two people who made the video with hate crimes. Leave it to politicians to turn tragedy into farce. I guess when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem turns into a nail.

OK, this is a pretty tragic story. Gay student gets videoed by douchebag roommate knocking boots, the stream is fed to the internet, gay student commits suicide. OK, that’s really sad, all right. I get it.

But at the same time, it’s pretty sleazy the way Gay Victims, Inc. is already moving to exploit this. “See, this is what happens because gay youth are not accepted! You should all feel the accumulated guilt of heteronormative oppression! By the way, we need more funding for tolerance programs and gay teen support groups. (Queer Studies Majors gotta do something for a living.)”

I’m just not buying into that. I think this kid was probably messed up, and his sexuality was a piece of that. And his death is sad, but is it society’s fault? I don’t think so.

I live in a place nicknamed “Fredneck,” because it’s suburban/rural and supposedly filled with intolerant jocks and hicks. I have kids not much younger than the suicide victim, and the general attitude toward teh gheys, even here, is “No big deal.”

And this kid was a student at a liberal college, Rutgers, that, according to its website, has had a Gay Students organization on campus for over 30 years, and now supports “several organizations — sponsored art exhibits, symposia and academic conferences…” Are we supposed to believe that the addition of more organizations would have prevented this kid from committing suicide, or his jerk roommate from making a video of him doing the horizontal Monster Mash and putting it on the internet (which was apparently illegal anyway)? I don’t think so.

I think the perception of gay victimhood is about 10% reality, 30% paranoia, and 60% political exploitation. But, that’s just me. Sorry for the long message.

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4 responses

  1. Peter H

    So what if he was gay? Would it have been any worse if he were straight? Is it just as embarrassing to be caught having sex and putting it on the internet if it were a male/female couple?

    Remember the scene from the first “American Pie” film, where the kid gets harrassed the next day at school because the livestream of his sexual encounter with the hot foreign exchange girl was, uh, “premature?” You felt sorry for the boy because everyone knew about it.

    I thought we as a nation had progressed to the point that being embarrassed is being embarrassed, no matter what your persuasion.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:28 am

  2. Leah

    Sorry, as a mom I have a very different take.
    First of all I hope they string the roommate up on as many charges as possible – involuntary manslaughter is a must.
    Second of all, if his parents found out about his being gay this way, this I hope there is a special level in hell for this roomie – may he be tortured for the rest of his life on this earth and beyond.

    I don’t care how open and accepting society becomes – being gay will always be outside the norm. There will always be people uncomfortable especially with the sexual aspect of it. Gregory you can correct me here since you’ve got the teenager, but as accepting as kids are, seeing two guys make out in public may not be an issue – but most kids keep certain activity in private no matter what their orientation. And I have to think that we’ve been bombarded with fake sex on screen for years now, but not gay sex. And even all those kids who say they have no problem with gays – may feel somewhat turned off when seeing actual gay sex on camera. (even if its’ just heavier petting than the norm on the school yard).

    The levels of shame and humiliation for Tyler must have been very great indeed. Whichever student had said this wouldn’t have happened had it been hetero sex is correct – Tyler may have been ashamed but many would have celebrated him.

    I blame society, not for being more open to gays, but for pushing sex into every public forum possible. The idea that a human is entitled to privacy when it comes to sex has completely been erased, these jerks never considered the consequences – which is why I want them strung up. I want society to get back to some decency and if that means legal punishment for these creeps so be it. Simply letting them get away with, oh I’m sorry is not enough.

    And if Gay Inc wants to exploit this one, they can do so with my blessing. btw, has the biggest champion of gay rights, Lady Gaga made a statement yet?

    September 30, 2010 at 11:06 am

    • Leah, please don’t take me the wrong way. (“That’s what she said.”) I am saddened by this kid’s death, and I think his room-mate is a douchebag for broadcasting it and should be punished to the extent the law allows. But I don’t think it’s a political issue, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a societal issue, either.

      We don’t know much about this kid, but supposing he was just one of those emotionally fragile people who had issues other than sexuality going on. No matter how many Gay-Straight Alliances and no matter how much tolerance indoctrination is laid down in the public schools, there will always be people who are going to take their own lives for irrational reasons. The question is, should innocent people be made to feel guilt-ridden over them? Should innocent people have their freedoms limited to accommodate the neurotic few? My answer is, probably not.

      Basic decency and morality demand that we treat people kindly, and the roommate who taped the encounter utterly failed in that regard and should be punished. But we have to be realistic and ask ourselves, even if we did have infinite resources to extend a halo of protection over every single person in society to prevent them from harming themselves (which we don’t, BTW), would it necessarily be a good thing if we did?

      September 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

  3. Exit Pursued by a Bear

    I am not looking forward to the stomach-turning spectacle of the roommate tearing up in court and sobbing that he never meant for this to go that far. Which is no doubt what his lawyers are coaching him to do as we speak.

    September 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

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