Thursday, February 28, 2008

Do we love kids more when they are dead?

photograph taken from the San Francisco Chronicle article about the memorial for Lawrence King at the SF LGBTQ community center

There has news within the community, and thankfully a bit within mainstream press about the murder of the queer student in Oxnard California who was shot in the back of the head while sitting in a Junior High Computer lab. The shooting was horrific, and for sure a wakeup call to our community. it is however interesting to note the relative lack of media coverage say compared to the college shooting at the university in Illinois just days later. As a nation it is clear that we do not value the lives of queer people, especially youth. i think that it is especially interesting to note that Lawrence King (the student who was murdered) was part of the foster care system, and was living in a shelter for abused children.

Homelessness amongst queer youth has reached epidemic proportions, and as a whole the community does very little about it. I'm editing an anthology from Homofactus Press which will be out early 2009 titled "Kicked Out" and is bringing together the stories of current and former LGBTQ youth who left home as a result of their sexuality and/or gender identity. the news of this young queers death thus touched me very deeply, and it has also made me angry. I think that it is wonderful that queer groups are having vigils across the country, and that gay press is buzzing with news of this, i've even heard this student referenced as the "new matthew shepard" as people from the trans community, and gay community alike rushing to hold Lawrence up as martyr for their cause. I'm left wondering, when are we as a community going to expend as much attention on living and breathing homeless youth as we do on the ones who die? Why isn't that being talked about? I guess it's easier to have a vigil.

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