Monday, December 15, 2008

When Gay is the Worst Thing Imaginable

Jose Sucuzhanay was an Ecuadoraan immigrant who was murdered by thugs yelling anti-gay, anti-Hispanic epithets. He had been walking the streets of Bushwick in Brooklyn, holding hands with his brother, when a a car pulled up and the attackers got out and beat him with a baseball bat.

It seems that some in his family now appear to be trying to downplay or deny the antigay epithets, with one of his brothers denying that it was the case at all in one television report I saw last night. If that is true it underscores how much work we need to do in battling homophobia. The anxiety of straight men about men touching one another -- two brothers, no less -- leads to this kind of awful violence. And then some of family members of the victim himself want to distance themselves from the reality of it. Perhaps it is the desire not to downplay the very real violence against immigrants that should be focused on here. Still, it seems that the men holding each other arm in arm is what triggered the attack, at least from the reports.

Joe Jervis at JoeMyGod has a full report on the vigil for Jose Sucuzhanay over the weekend.