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Jan. 14th, 2012

Humanity, sometimes you make me so sad. A couple of happenings, in no particular order:

1. Eric James Borges committed suicide. (Links/videos collected by my friend Dan Fincke.) He was an intern at the Trevor Project, a non-profit dedicated to addressing LGBT suicides. I know suicides are complicated and aren't rational so looking for a reason is often falderal. But whatever else might be true of his situation, one fact is clear: his mum had tried to perform an exorcism on him. That kind of familial abuse (and yes, I'd say this qualifies!) is revolting. 

2. NPR reports about another gay man, Anthony Hoskins. This man is at least alive, and has survived but had to cut off all ties from his family. He recounts one experience after  male classmate mailed a valentine to his house:

"She stood me up against a tree," he says. "She took the shotgun out of my hands, and she put it to my head.

"She said, 'This is the tree that I'd take my son to and blow his head off if he ever decided to be a faggot,'" Hoskins says.

I mean, really?

3. And of course the stories about US soldiers pissing on Taliban corpses. I was discussing this with Dwim earlier, and she's right, the creation of corpses is what we should all really be outraged over. I am upset over that. Heck, I've marched for hours in the fifteen-degree weather over just that violence. But there's something about the disrespect shown here that crystallizes a suspicion I've had for a long time. See, dead bodies are inevitable in war, and there's a long tradition of at least respecting them as warriors and giving them a proper burial. It's how we maintain not only their humanity but our own when we have to kill people in war. But once again,. there's this turning our fellow humans into something below that. I can't decide whether it's saying that terrorists (and the LGBT) aren't really human, or if it's saying that human isn't really worth grasping at, it's the "like us" that's important. I suspected that was happening for a long time, but this incident just makes that conclusion unavoidable.

In both cases, this all makes me too sad for words. I keep coming back to a cherished family pet who's in puppy ICU right now after a run-in with a car she was chasing. She's usually not far from my thoughts right now because, well, I love Bear deeply and she's still in critical condition. (It's no accident that when I set up FB, hers was the only photo I had on my computer, and that I haven't ever changed my avatar there.) But hearing this stuff, I also got to thinking about how concerned everyone is over her, and how much she affects me and all of us and even people who only know me, compared to how these actual humans were treated.

And honestly, I'm just not sure what to say. Silence and tears seem like the only things that are anywhere near adequate.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2012 05:29 am (UTC)
I suspected that was happening for a long time, but this incident just makes that conclusion unavoidable.

It is all about whether people are just like us, and frankly, I don't think this sort of behavior is limited to corpse desecration. There was a horrible case here a few years ago, where two policeman beat a Native American man till he lost consciousness, peed on him, and left him by the side of the road in sub-zero temperatures. The combination of power/privilege and prejudice is deadly. *sigh*
Jan. 14th, 2012 06:55 am (UTC)
You're right, of course. I find it pretty disheartening because it makes it so hard to see the value in diversity when that's the case. ("just like us" can be so narrowly defined, sometimes!)

I didn't mean to say these were the only cases worth noting. That story you mention makes me upset, too. I guess it was just reading all these stories together, combined with thinking about my dog - sort of puts your thoughts in perspective a bit, you know?
Jan. 14th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Not sure whether the following is a relevant answer. If not, sorry!
I think we (or most of us) need ties to individuals in our lives to be able to make the imaginative leap to care what happens to strangers and to groups they don't belong to. (Isn't that what you yourself said, more or less, in Bitter Rain?) I'm not sure whether it matters all that much in that respect whether the individual is a human or a pet.
Of course, there are still people who refuse to make that imaginative leap or forget how to do it...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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