April 24, 2008
>The Greater Picture
>For the queer community, Lawrence King’s murder is still very much a current topic. Vigils were recently held all over the country and his face can be seen everywhere in the gay media. Ellen DeGeneres even helped bring the news of his death to the mainstream media.
As tragic as his murder is, it has been good for the queer community to have a face to put with our cause. Almost exactly 10 years after Matthew Shepard’s murder, we can easily argue that there is still so much work to be done.
The Advocate recently published an article about Lawrence King’s murder and asked the question, “Who’s to blame?” The article went on to suggest that the blame lies with those who urged Lawrence King to be himself, thereby putting him in danger of homophobic class mates. I strongly suggest you check out that article, as well as a response letter from various LGBT organizations condemning the article and its implications.
GLSEN has done a really good job in bringing attention to his murder and this year Day of Silence is being done in Lawrence King’s memory. While I truly believe that this will greatly benefit the exposure Day of Silence’s cause will get, we should not lost sight of the greater picture.
Tomorrow, students will be carrying around cards that state, “I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment, prejudice, and discrimination.” This should stand as a reminder to us all to not single anyone out.
Millions of people around the world – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, straight allies – are nameless victims of homophobia and heterosexism by being forced into the closet. By participating in Day of Silence, you are not only giving them a name, but a voice.
I wish all you DOSsers the best of luck and stay safe!