So there I am, reading the BBC, and I come across a news story about a pro-gay rally in Israel. Turns out that yesterday a man stepped into a gay support centre in Tel Aviv and opened up, killing two people. Just like we have seen in North America, homophobic crimes are usually followed up by a support rally, a way of telling the world that violence will not scare away the LGBT crowd and a way of reminding those who are scared that the community remains, even when someone is harmed or killed. These issues were recently brought home to me when I met the boyfriend of one of the managers at work. This fellow was the victim of a homophobic crime a few years ago, and there was a rally as a result. Luckily he got away without serious and continuing injury, but in a small town like this…I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way the shopkeeps glared at the crowd who dared to suggest that gay people deserve the same rights as everyone else.
I’m a straight fellow, and that shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me. But I don’t think being part of the majority means I can’t care about the plight of the minority. Reading on the BBC about this Israeli hate crime has really reminded me that, even in media, LGBT (why do I keep thinking of BLT when I type that?!) issues are on a second tier. If this attack had been against women, it would surely have hit some of the “dirt sheets” (CNN, MSNBC, etc). I don’t think I saw a reference to it on CTV Newsnet, either, but that doesn’t mean anything.
As an aside, someone in the crowd called the double-homicide “Israel’s worst hate crime”. I guess that guy hasn’t walked on the West Bank recently. But it may very well qualify as Israel’s worst homophobic crime. It’s still a tragedy, and it makes me think of digging out my little pink triangle pin. As long as one person lives in fear…so don’t we all?