Monday, July 21, 2008

Young, Gay, Murdered and Bashed Still by Newsweek

This weekend Newsweek printed a troubling story about the life and death of Larry King, the young boy whom we talked about at great length on the show, who was shot point blank in class by a Hitler obsessed classmate.Unfortunately it was most troubling for the wrong reasons.

The article is a lengthy expose of Larry King's life and death, with gratuitous focus on his appearance, and his expression of his sexual identity, with heavy emphasis blaming the victim. The blogosphere is abuzz with outrage and hurt over this skewed and ignorant take on what was a hate-crime.

Newsweek author Ramin Setoodeh at one point writes:

"Larry King was, admittedly, a problematical test case: he was a troubled child who flaunted his sexuality and wielded it like a weapon—it was often his first line of defense"

There are many unchallenged opinions in the article including one referring to Larry as a "bully" for flirting with and showing his attraction to his killer, and very little effort to understand what it must have been like for Larry to not be able to feel safe and accepted in school.

The article could have been an advantageous opportunity to further the discussion of issues facing LGBT youth in schools, the responsibility school administrators and parents must take in educating children, yet instead it took every cliched and biased opportunity to blame Larry for his own death.