Friday, September 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street - The Good, the Bad, and the Maced

(USLAW.com's YouTube)
(See that non-violent protester at left? That's her face a few seconds after being pepper-sprayed by one Anthony Bologna. More on that one another day.)

It's easy to criticize. It's harder to get something done. And sometimes, you may not agree with all of the tactics (or any of them), but you participate anyway because something has to be done. Specifically, I'm talking about my experience with the NJ marriage equality fight of 2009. Things moved so fast - sometimes, it came down to whether I would try something that could backfire or sit on the couch try nothing at all.

Therefore, I'm not going to pick apart the Occupy Wall Street movement (in this particular post). There isn't a well-funded organization using experienced campaigners to construct a political strategy. It's way more grass-roots than that. Sometimes, the messy rallies that have been called together by people with day jobs (or no jobs at all) are the ones needed at the time.

Because the media seems to have just caught on, this is what the protest is all about. I think. Probably. Since Sept. 17, a diverse group has been Occupying Wall Street protesting corporate greed and other buzzwords. Mainstream media is getting cranky because there does not seem to be one person who is the CEO and Founder of the movement. (Caveat: I have not yet been to the rallies nor am I in contact with anyone who has been.) I can understand their frustration.

Occupy Wall Street, which is spreading to other US cities including D.C., is trying to fight the power that a few are holding over the many, mainly through economic control.

The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City can be found at the New York City General Assembly site.


Lawrence O'Donnell on police brutality. He's almost a Glenn Beck of the left, without some of the crazier theories. But, as such, he is not being a reporter - he's being a a pundit for MSNBC (c/o Towleroad).

The movement has blossomed from what pundits would call some disgruntled down-and-outs to encompass a big group of people with diverse, progressive needs. On OccupyWallStreet.org, the NYC Slutwalk (extra special this year because of the serial rapist(s) of Brooklyn), the New Jim Crow (link broken), and the Rally for a Nuclear-Free Future are all advertised...hell, they all happen tomorrow.

The marriage of all these leftist issues are part of the problem. Calling for a single thing is easier than calling for a wide range of broad social changes. Does that make "the cause" not worth fighting for? I'll get back to you on that.

From an outsider's perspective, Occupy Wall Street seems like a disorganized, progressive Tea Party. Since there is no apparent backing by wealthy corporations and established political junkies, it's not doing as well as the Tea Party.

I have outlined the movement in the following poem that can be sung to the tune "If You're Happy and You Know It" (the Barney & Friends version):

If you're angry and you know it,
get some mace.

If you're angry and you know it,
cover your face!

If you're angry and you know it,
and you really want to show it,
if you're angry and you know it,
get some mace.

Occupy Wall Street is not supposed to be protesting the New York City Police Department. However, The Observer points out that police brutality is really what got the media's attention:
"Protestors like to point out that they’re on the cops’ side—NYPD salaries place officers safely among the “99%” they represent—but, as one might have predicted from the trajectory of Critical Mass, altercations with the police are the fastest way to legitimize and draw attention to an otherwise juvenile movement. Arrests provide concrete numbers for headlines and handsome young faces with bloody noses make good homepage photos.

Yesterday, a video made the rounds which, unless Warren Buffett arrives with a confetti cannon full of twenties, will be the most popular to emerge from the first eight days of the demonstration.

Two young women are penned against the sidewalk by an orange net, but they strain against it as they look down the sidewalk in horror, where someone is being aggressively handcuffed, bloodied face down on the pavement. While they’re looking away, a high-ranking police officer in white swiftly approaches them, douses them with pepper spray, and slips back into the crowd. The two young women, blinded, drop to their knees screaming and clutch at their faces. Two women behind them also begin to cry as their faces visibly redden.

The video won’t bring regulatory reform to financial services, reinstate capital gains tax, or repeal Citizens United, but it is one way to end a media blackout, or bounce back from a bad review.

'The cops spraying a bunch of white girls, well, our donations have tripled,' one of the victims, Chelsea Elliott, told the Village Voice."

And from that Village Voice interview with Chelsea Elliott:

"You're okay -- your eyes are okay?
I had some nasty eye boogers this a.m. but all is fine. My parents are freaking out. I'm like, don't worry, I'll wear sunglasses next time."


Nasty eye boogers indeed.

More to come later.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Being Gay is NOT a gift from God.

The Church on Strayer paid for 9 billboards in Toledo, Ohio with the message "Being Gay is NOT a gift from God. -Forgiveness, Love & Eternal Life are."
Image from Queerty
The monstrosities are a rebuttal to the Central United Methodist Church's single billboard earlier this year that stated "Being Gay is a Gift from God."

Image from The Advocate Online
Besides the obvious confusion with capitalization in the former billboard's message...

Okay, yes I'm nit-picking the grammatical structure because I'm cranky, and it's the easiest way to debunk a message without actually thinking. Let's go back to the thinking portion of this blog now...

Of the homophobic message, Reverend Tony Scott of the Church on Strayer said,
“I love everyone. There’s nothing on that billboard about hate. ... I’m getting hate mail from lesbian and gay people, but my point is that I love them too much to let someone believe a lie. I love this city too much to let a lie be sown.” 
Because telling people that their very identity is a sin is really changing hearts and minds. It's definitely not reinforcing some people's preconceived notions and encouraging other people to hate themselves and fall into deep, dark depressions. 

So, just remember kids - I love you so much that I have been called to let you know that your hair color is not a gift from God. It's a gift from Eva at Salon Hair'Em, and she took that gift right out of your wallet.

Go now to TheChurchOnStrayer.com - "Offering. your giving is making a difference." (That's an SIC there...shit, I'm messing with the English again.) Just think of how many billboards you could pay for!

On the other hand, you could go to NewAlternativesNYC.org. Think of how many homeless, queer youth will survive for one more day!


Are we all able to see the difference between these two "charities?"
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Monday, September 19, 2011

C.R.A.Z.Y. - Watch This Movie!

C.R.A.Z.Y. - IMDB
On a whim last night, I decided to turn on the Quebecois (that means it's from the Frenchier part of Canada) film C.R.A.Z.Y. It was a random choice in the foreign section of Netflix online. I finished it this afternoon.

Watch it.

Right now.

It's okay to stop reading and to go watch it.

Now that you've seen it, I'll still give a brief summary in case you were drinking or unconscious or something throughout the film.

C.R.A.Z.Y. follows the life of Zac Beaulieu from his unfortunate birth to his 21st year. Zac is the 4th son in a family of 5 brothers. We have a nerd, a burnout, a jock, the queer, and the young'un. He's different than his brothers - more feminine and sensitive. A fortune-telling, Tupperware lady tells his mother that he's special. His mom, a devout Catholic, goes through life believing that her son has the power to heal. Zac grows up to be pretty normal. He acts straight rather convincingly, he plays instruments, and he beats up the boy who shows romantic interest in him. Like you do. He shotguns joints from dudes and finds it pretty sexy (I thought shotgunning was something else...).

Zac at 20 - Flixster.com
His father refuses to accept anything from Zac but the highest quality of masculine idiocy. In fact, when Zac's female friend storms out of the house, his father smiles to the youngest son and wonders whether Zac groped her. Yay, sexual assault!

Basically, I sat on the edge of the couch with my feet flat on the floor. If you know me, it's nearly impossible for my legs to do anything but jiggle up and down incessantly. I was hungry and the coffee was done, but still I was enthralled. I couldn't move. It was amazing.

Zac Beaulieu is played by Marc-André Grondin. He's versatile - playing a believable Zac from ages 15 through 21. And he's drop-dead gorgeous.

In real-life, Zac is straight (*le sigh*). In an interview, Marc-André Grondin said:
Zac at 15 - LucyWho.com
"...I’ve been doing this job since I was three years old, so I’ve been raised on sets and there were always gay guys around me, so it’s always been a part of my life. I never felt that it was different; to me it was just normal. When I thought about doing this movie, I never thought that maybe I would be categorized as being gay or whatever. If I had to play a rapist, I wouldn’t expect people to run after me in the street, but it’s funny how playing a homosexual is seen as being so removed from what is ‘normal’, that people think you’re gay. People still ask me, 'Are you gay?', like you’ve gotta be gay to play a gay guy!"
So, this film was pretty much about my life. Except for the French bit. And the growing up in the 80's. And the sex with women. And the smoking. And...well, it's pretty much exactly the same as my life. I did everything I could to pray the gay away. I employed the same magical thinking (if I just make it through the storm, I'll be cured...). I didn't try to de-sissify myself because my gender presentation was generally acceptable, but I did try to lower my voice. I suffered through being called "faggot" for a good long time. I thought that I would be okay if I dated girls - that obviously didn't work too well.

This movie really, really hit home for me. Reviews are generally not something that I do on here, but I couldn't stop myself from sharing this with you.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Double Standards are as American as Apple Pie

c/o Joe.My.God.
When a Christian commits a crime, 83% of Americans believe the criminal is not a real Christian. When a Muslim commits a crime, 48% of Americans believe the criminal is not a real Muslim.

Huh, what?

I've found double standards fascinating for quite some time. I particularly remember a course in political psychology that I took in college. My class took a survey where we identified our ideals versus real-day application. I was (and am) all for freedom of speech (not including violent rhetoric). When confronted with the idea of giving the Ku Klux Klan a free platform to discuss the superiority of white skin, I was very uncomfortable allowing that kind of free speech.

I can't have my free speech and eat it, too.

"What It Means to be an American: Attitudes in an Increasingly Diverse America Ten Years after 9/11" is the report from the Brookings Institute and the Public Religion Research Institute (based on survey data by PRRI). Check out that link for some interesting stuff.

c/o Brookings Institute
It's hard to see this graphic, so here's a reiteration of my favorite parts:
- "88% of Americans agree that 'America was founded on the ideas of religious freedom for everyone, including religious groups that are unpopular."
- "30% say American Muslims want to establish Shari'a" (that's 1 in 3 Americans!)
- "47% say Islam and American values are incompatible"
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Leslie Gore, Empowerment, and Fighting Wave of Sexual Assaults in Brooklyn

Leslie Gore - PMP Network
My roommate just came back from a meeting about the (probably more than) nine sexual assaults in my area of Brooklyn. Maybe she'll tell you about all about the meeting herself.

For now, here's the video that she was watching when I came back from the grocery store.


Leslie Gore - You Don't Own Me

Apparently, an "angry rally" occurred after the aforementioned meeting with 200 people taking to the streets of Sunset Park. Hell fucking yeah people are angry.

ABC7 reports that the 2 possible attackers have been targeting petite, white women in skirts as they enter their buildings. "She fought back and the suspect ran off."

Remember: fighting back is a good idea. Statistics show that being complacent does NOT help your chances of leaving unscathed. The Center for Anti-Violence Education is offering free martial arts training for women and transpeople in the area (with sliding scale child-care, I believe).
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Beenie Man, the Musician Who Wants to Slit the Throats of All Gay Men, Honored by Brooklyn US Rep. Yvette Clarke

c/o http://www.clarke.house.gov/
United States Representative Yvette Clarke, the representative for much of Brooklyn, recently honored Beenie Man at the Reggae Rhythm and Blues Festival. Beenie Man, nice guy that he is, only wants to slit the throats of all gay men, hang lesbians from a long rope (a short rope is so passe), and shoot gays in the head.

Some translations of his songs can be found here. Pro-equality groups have successfully petitioned event organizers to oust Beenie Man from performances. Differences in opinion are one thing. Calling for the total genocide of a people is another.

Clarke represents Brooklyn which, like much of NYC, has a higher than average queer population. She's a friend of the queer community, too. In celebration of marriage equality in NY, she said,
“Today New York became the sixth state in the United States to legalize gay marriage. I want to congratulate the LGBT community for continuing their fight for marriage rights and achieving this goal. The Stonewall Uprising here in New York City marked the beginning of the gay rights movement in America. It is more than fitting that New York, the birthplace of the gay rights movement, finally has extended the right to marry to all of its citizens. This is long overdue. Through rigorous negotiations, this legislation also includes a religious exemption that does not require religious institutions to marry same sex couples. This allows religious institutions to abide by their religious beliefs and obligations. Again, this legislation marks a historic moment in New York politics. I will continue to fight on the federal level for both equal access to marriage and the workplace for all Americans.”
Beenie Man c/o izatrini_com
I think that it's totally possible that United States Representative Yvette Clarke did not know of Beenie Man's kill-the-gays attitude. She's a supporter. However, it must be made known that violent rhetoric cannot be tolerated, especially by celebrities and those in the public sphere. People look up to them and follow their advice. I don't want anyone shooting all the gay men that they meet in the head - it makes open viewings awkward at best.


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Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's Halloween already...what?

Not that it's abnormal for businesses to start putting up their holiday decorations way too soon. It's still just weird to me. It's still bloody hot out - it certainly doesn't feel like autumn. We still have 22 days until the first day of fall...and I intend to finish out my summer with it still being summer.


An Irish pub near Times Square.



If I bought these now, I think they'd still keep until Halloween. That's kind of scary in of itself.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Housekeeping - Privacy Policy and Internet Paranoia

A new privacy policy tab can be found at the top of this website. The Privacy Policy for AFruit4Thought can be found here. I encourage you to visit it for more information about the, uh, information I collect and the information that 3rd party advertisers collect.

Unfortunately, I have had to choose between my ideals and my pocketbook. Like a Republican, I've gone with my pocketbook. I'm not making bank, but one day I hope for this blog to make enough money for me to streamline it a bit. Maybe have a LOL cat generator or something equally as useful?

Unlike much of the GOP, however, I'm going to let you know that I'm doing it. This is long overdue - Google collects all sorts of information because that is the platform and host that I use for AFruit4Thought.

For example,  I can see aggregated data of the following information:
- locations of viewers, including country, state/province, and city
- time spent on posts
- where my blog traffic comes from
- etc.

I cannot see personally identifiable information. (Or, if I can, I don't know how to do it.)

Please also visit my previous post about a TED talk on internet privacy. (For instance, did you know that my Google searches look different from yours even when I sign out from Google account?)

You should also check out this PCWorld post about "people searches." Do you really want your insurance company to know that you frequently do internet searches on heart disease...or your kids to find out that you're into leather-daddy porn (and then watch the same videos you watch)?


Do I necessarily want you to be able to find a picture like this of me online? Oops...too late now.
I made that hat myself, by the by.


Here's an excerpt from my Privacy Policy page which can help you to limit the amount of information that is collected about you:

Translation from legal-ese
My website collects uses cookies because it is required for the advertisements placed on my site via Google AdSense.

I don't have access to the cookies that third party advertisers use. If you want to opt-out from some of this data collection, you can do so through the web browser that you are using (such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.). Additional opt-outs can be found at the Network Advertising Initiative. The opt-out specific to Google AdSense can be found here.

A good source for information on your privacy and safety on the internet can be found at the Internet Privacy site of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

I strongly encourage you to learn more about cookies, internet security, and data collection.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Protesters Glitter Bomb Anti-Queer Booth...from the Air!

Wikimedia Commons
The ironically named Minnesota for Marriage, an anti-marriage group, were allowed a booth at the Minnesota State Fair at the last minute...but Minnesotans United for All Families, a pro-equality group, says that they applied and were told that there was no more room. (Nick Espinosa says that Minnesota for Marriage was ushered in at the last minute. I'm only going on his word and a few news reports that don't cite who told them what. It is possible that Minnesotans United for All Families applied late, and that there was no room. When I figure out which is which, I'll let you know.)

Fun fact: The MN House of Representatives did a survey of 12,549 people at the state fair. 66.5% were against a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. (The State Fair Poll Results can be found here.)

In protest, the Bachmann-barbarian'ing, Gingrich-glittering Nick Espinosa organized a group to glitter-bomb from above. Some protesters used a sky-lift ride to drop glitter right on top of the booth. It's fun to watch how some people just didn't notice anything weird happening.


The mom in me worries that someone will get glitter in their eyes or down their throats. Then glitter-bombing will be illegal faster than you can say "F^ck the queers!" Still, that might become the case regardless of whether someone gets hurt. Newt Gingrich argued, "To be fair, Gingrich makes a good point about not knowing that it's glitter until it's already been dumped on you. It's like, when someone shakes your hand, how do you know they aren't holding one of those buzzer things?"

Tom Emmer, the guy who wanted to lower server minimum wages in MN to the federal minimum wage ($2.13/hour - because everyone can live on that), was penny-bombed by Espinosa (mind you, the pennies were not aimed at Emmer). On his radio show, Davis and Emmer in the Morning, Emmer's co-host Bob Davis tries to protect queer activists, saying, "That glitter attack stuff is really testing that line, and I'm going to tell you what's going to happen, somebody is going to pull a trick and they're going to get shot. That's what's going to happen. Or they're going to get hurt."

I read that as meaning "queers shouldn't protest because it's only natural, if unfortunate, that some people will want to beat them to death for it."

The fun don't stop there! Emmer is pretty upset because what if the glitter were something else? You know, like bricks or unicorns or something? We should probably make glitter-bombing illegal because it "could" be something else. Just to be safe, we should make water guns and balloons illegal, too. Who knows whether little Timmy filled his Super Soaker with battery acid?!

Because queer activists have used the deadly glitter-bomb, we now have to ban wrapped gifts, closets (because shit falls out of mine every time I open it), and coffee cups with lids. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT COULD BE INSIDE!

Finally, the far right can say that the queers killed Christmas.
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Blame the Gay or Blame the Bully - An Update on the Larry King Case

Before I begin, a big "thank you" to all the new readers who visited my blog to read my previous post, "Mistrial in Lawrence King Hate Crime Case" (I got 2,139 views in one day, an all new record for AFruit4Thought!). I hope that you liked what saw enough to come back. If so, welcome!



Quick catch-up: Brandon McInerney was 14 when he killed 15 year old Lawrence King. King was flirtatious towards McInerney. McInerney brought in a .22 caliber gun to school and shot King in the head twice.



Picture c/o an interesting read at Autostraddle.
After the announcement of the mistrial in the Larry King case, the media and the blogosphere have been buzzing with interpretations of the ruling and what it could mean for gender presentation, individual rights, bullying, and hate crime laws.

I used something along the lines of "If I were to shoot a straight girl in the head for hitting on me, you can bet I would [fry/get first-degree]." Was I being sensational? You bet. It got lots of people to read my post, didn't it?

The fact of the matter is that this line of thinking should be entertained. Let's think straight for a sec. (I'm trying really, really hard.) If a guy shot a girl because he was hit on - even if she was hitting on him every second of the day - we'd say that he over-reacted. If girl shot a guy because she was hit on we'd say, "Alright the guy had it coming. That's sexual harassment!"

Back to the queeroverse - if a queer is shot, ze probably deserved it!

The problem with the mistrial is not just about Larry King's sexuality, which has been the main factor in the media. "Gay boy wears girl-clothes!" It's also about how King wore make-up and heels. Apparently, that kind of self-presentation was distracting and upsetting to the students at E.O. Green Junior High School. (It's possible that he dressed that way only to upset people [which is fucking understandable at 15]. It's also possible that he was trans. We know that he sometimes referred to himself using female pronouns, but other than that, we don't really know.)

Autumn Sandeen on Pam's House Blend wrote the post "My Life Is Likely Less Valuable Than Yours." Sandeen writes,
"When I covered the Angie Zapata Hate Crime Murder Trial from a Greeley, Colorado courtroom, I listened to a recording of Angie’s murderer say:

“It’s not like I went up to a schoolteacher and shot her in the head or … killed a law-abiding straight citizen.”

I realized after the verdict a few things about why a “blame the victim” defense didn’t work by the defense in that case: 1.) Angie wasn’t a sex worker, 2.) Angie was very out of the closet regarding her status as a transgender woman, and 3.) Angie wasn’t particularly confrontational against those who harassed her.

In response to being bullied for his gender expression, Larry King taunted those who taunted him. In my opinion, Larry’s confrontational behavior towards those who bullied him helps explain the hung jury.

... The defense’s success of a hung jury in the trial of Brandon McInerney tells me that my life is likely worth less than your life. If you don’t think that doesn’t send a chill down my spine, you’d be wrong."

What we are doing is blaming Lawrence King for his own demise. Blame the victim, much? It's like a rape case - "Well, officer, she said that she didn't want me, but that's not quite saying no, is it? Anyway, in that dress I can see her upper thigh. I just can't help myself when exposed to upper thighs."

Maeve Fox, the prosecutor for the case, said, "This entire defense is built on a bias against the victim, and this hope that people will buy into the fact that the way he was and they way he dressed was so provoking that a reasonable person would have reacted the way the defendant did. It's tragic and nauseating at the same time."

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss wrote on Bilerico,
"What makes the 'heat of passion' defense particularly egregious here is the fact that a crime motivated by the sexual orientation or gender identity of the victim is considered a "hate crime," which carries an enhanced penalty. Thus, shooting King because of his sexual orientation or gender identity is both a reason for an enhanced penalty (as a hate crime) and a reason for a reduced penalty (as a murder committed in the 'heat of passion' because McInerney was 'disgusted' by King's sexual orientation or gender identity).

Some people make the point that McInerney was 14 at the time of the shooting, and should not have been tried as an adult. Be that as it may, the jury's job was to decide whether McInerney committed premeditated murder or whether the killing was 'in the heat of passion,' and thus voluntary manslaughter. There is no reasonable argument here for 'heat of passion,' unless one is homophobic. That's probably why the jurors who believed that McInerney premeditated the act, and did not act 'in the heat of passion' refused to cave, and thus the jury could not reach a decision."
Although I've pointed out before how I dislike the fact that McInerney was tried as an adult, that is neither here nor there for the jury's verdict. The jury's sole job is to determine what charges make sense. The judge would then determine the punishment. Disturbingly, the entire jury rejected the hate crime charge. (The jury voted 7 in favor of voluntary manslaughter and 5 in favor of murder.)

That's the whole checks and balances thing. It's a different person's job to determine the punishment. We may not like it, but it's the best system we have.

Anyway, my distaste for trying Brandon McInerney as an adult has been aired. What is clear in this instance is that the "gay panic" (or "trans panic," "queer panic," etc.) defense is still a viable option in our judicial system. Remember - we are all ruled by our emotions, including jurors. The defense just has to hit that underlying queerphobia or touch on how queers are not fully accepted in society in order to spawn the devils of "gay panic."

Hopefully, the prosector's office will be able to bring McInerney back into court. A crime like this is a crime against the entire queer community.
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mistrial in Lawrence King's Hate Crime Case

About three years ago, 14-year old Brandon McInerney walked up to 15-year old Lawrence King and shot him in the back of the head, point-blank, twice. McInerney is now 17, and the judge in his case has declared a mistrial after the jury could not reach a consensus. McInerney was being tried as an adult.

The prosecution alleges that at least 6 people heard McInerney threaten King. McInerney told a friend that he was going to bring a gun into school the day before he killed King.  The defense alleges that McInerney snapped after repeated sexual harassment by King and the school's unwillingness to do anything about it.
"The school administration has been accused of being more concerned about defending King's civil rights than recognizing that his behavior and what he wore – high heels, makeup and feminine clothing – made other students uncomfortable" (HuffPost).
 Maybe some queer tolerance seminars were needed? If Larry King wanted to dress in female clothing, he had the right to do so! If other people were bothered, they need to get a handle on themselves.

A commenter on an LA Times article brings up an interesting point:


Kyle Richards writes, "He killed another person, but there is no justice. What if he had killed a girl who had said those same words, 'What's up, baby?' The jury would not have hesitated to convict him of 1st degree murder. The jury was stuck on whether to convict McInerney of voluntary manslaughter, which means that he "had no prior intent to kill and acted during 'the heat of passion,' under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed."

A consensus seems to be have been reached on two facts:
1. McInerney's attack was premeditated.
2. McInerney was disgusted by the attentions of a gay male.

Gay panic, much? Except a key component of the "gay panic defense" is the passion of the moment. Since Brandon McInerney planned the killing, he had plenty of time to cool off. His age does mitigate his abilities to calm himself down, but I don't want a precedent where a "reasonable person" can kill a gay man because they're freaked out.

Could I kill a straight girl for hitting on me? Hell. Fucking. No.

Now, I also think that McInerney should not be tried as an adult because he was only 14. His brain wasn't finished developing. Yes, he may have grown up in an abusive home. No, that does not give him an excuse to kill someone. However, his age and the abusive home can explain some of his violent tendencies. He needs help, but he does need punishment. Hate crime charges should be pursued, but maybe the prison time on them should be dropped for good behavior or the time he's already spent behind bars or something.

The hate crime designation is crucial because this was a hate crime - a crime committed against Larry King because of King's sexuality and gender presentation.

Was it okay that King taunted McInerney? No. But if King was female, would we even be having this debate? Nope.
"[Updated at 4:31 p.m., Sept. 1: McInerney was stoic as the judge declared a mistrial, but after jurors left he smiled at his family members, some of whom he hadn’t seen in three years, and blew a kiss to his girlfriend.  King’s family did not react and left the courtroom without commenting.]" (LA Times).
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