Newsweek and Larry King

Aqueertheory has posted a great analysis of Newsweek's article "Young, Gay and Murdered," which focuses on the death of Larry King. You can find it over at Below The Belt.

From Below the Belt:
While murder victim Larry King recently become a sentimentalized martyr for the LGBT rights movement, Setoodeh tries to show that ‘the reason Larry died isn’t as clear-cut as most people think.’ He suggests that the victim brought the violence onto himself by stretching ‘the limits of tolerance’ and ‘push[ing] his rights as far as he could’. Larry ‘was a troubled child who flaunted his sexuality and wielded it like a weapon’ - therefore, we should avoid turning him into a poster-child for the LGBT movement. He is not the right kind of victim.

We cannot allow ourselves to keep blaming the victim; we need to stop assuming and legitimating heterosexual privilege. Following Setoodeh’s logic, Larry should have been ‘on the down-low’, he should not have defended himself from homophobic abuse, and he should have refrained from acting on any of his crushes. While any ‘reasonable adult’ would have probably done this, to badger a child into stifling hir identity is cruel. Larry tried to live a queer life to the fullest, but he was brutally cut off because of homophobic social norms. Unfortunately, all LGBTQ people face this risk. Believe it or not, we all have a gun to our heads.
Sara Whitman also offered this terrific commentary on the article at the Huffington Post.

Young, Gay and Murdered. Lesbian assistant principal suspected of a "gay agenda." King's troubled past leading him to a group home placement shrugged off as a minor event in a series of his own trouble causing.

As if kids get taken out of homes because they "accuse" their parents of hitting them. Another top notch effort of reporting, the adoptive father gets to simply say, "Not true," and that's it.

Because it's really about this bad boy, who wore girls clothes, got what he deserved. Homosexuality was the evil here. Playing "grown up" without knowing it could get you killed.

Personally, I'm not surprised by the Newsweek article- after all, what's more likely to sell papers, a condemnation of queerphobic violence, or criticism of us "freaks" who won't conform to the heterocentric norms like those "normal" people who make up their target audience?

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