Ok. It's 3am. I'm not tired. I'm not even close to being tired. Because I am too angry to be tired.
I was browsing Facebook about 2 hours ago, and noticed that my friend, we'll call him Ben, had posted a link on his wall. I followed, and discovered that it was an article written by a professor at his college. Not only did I discover from this article that my friend had been severely beaten for being gay in the South, but I learned that the professor thought this was A-OK. I would post the article, but 1. I don't want to link to it to give it more traffic and 2. it uses my friend's name, and he deserves more privacy than that.
I immediately sent my friend a message, and ... it was even worse than I thought. He can't remember anything about that night because he was beaten so severely that he lost consciousness and STOPPED BREATHING at the scene. Now, he has to be treated by a neulogist and a neuropsychologist because his multiple concussions in the cerebral and cerebellal regions of his brain have left him with severe problems. Among the most devastating is that my dear sweet friend is having issues making the two hemispheres of his brain communicate.
Because he can't remember anything, the justice system can't help him.
I seriously think I may throw up. "Ben" is seriously one of the sweetest and most unassuming people I know. And while he's very "out," he's aware that he lives in the South and always took precautions, and tried to get along with everyone. For the most part, he didn't have any problems. And now, he has to see two specialists because some redneck thought he was justified in beating the shit out of him. Just because Ben is different than that particular neanderthal.
I'm GLAD he's different. I'm so proud of my friend, for standing up for himself, and for continuing on. For continuing to laugh and love life. For not letting this consume him like it's already consuming me.
And before I get any super conservative trolls on here: Yes. I am liberal. I'm very socially liberal. I don't think being gay is wrong, or a sin, or a choice. I think it's who my friend is. You are more than welcome to disagree with me. You're entitled to your opinion, just like I am mine. And my beef in this post isn't with people who disagree with me that gays should be given the right to marry, or any other political issue. My beef is with people who think it's OK to beat someone else for being different, for any reason. My issue is with anyone who thinks that violence is excusable.
Because, even if you don't agree that being gay isn't a sin or a choice, allowing this kind of violence in our society is terrifying. If someone can beat Ben because he's gay, then what's stopping someone else from targeting another group? Women? Left-handers? The overweight? I fall into all those categories. And the same religious reasons that people use to justify or excuse being gay people was used to justify keeping women, left-handers, and minorities down.
I feel lucky and proud to have been born in this country, where teachers no longer make lefties like me write with our right hands. Where women can go to law school and be outspoken and do great things. Where there is generally room for people on both sides of any debate to co-exist without too much turmoil. But this ... this kind of hate? I'm not proud that my country is capable of that.
State of the Human Address.
6 months ago