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Letters to the Editor: 12.6.13

Recently in Paris, Tenn., a gay man was attacked and beaten unconscious by three men.

They wrote a homophobic slur across his forehead and attempted to burn down the health foods store where he worked.

Thankfully, he regained consciousness and was able to escape and call the authorities.

His attackers ran away before they could finish the job.

Police are still looking for them, and they are hoping that the FBI will get involved in the investigation.

This incident shows that even though positive attitudes toward gay Americans have increased greatly over the years and marriage equality has been achieved in many states this year, there is still a long way to go.

Homophobia and heterosexism thrive in our society, and this incident shows it. You can see it just by turning on the TV or listening to music (I’m looking at you Eminem).

It is also a grim reminder of anti-gay sentiment in the area around Murray State.

These attitudes need to be addressed and defeated.

How the Paris newspaper handled the attack is also troublesome. The fact that this was a hate crime was not mentioned until the last half of the article.

Also, instead of reporting that the victim had a homophobic slur written on his forehead, the writer stated that it was a “homosexual word.” Such poor reporting is not acceptable and shows unfamiliarity with LGBT issues.

It should also be kept in mind that even though both Tennessee and Kentucky have hate crime legislation covering sexual orientation, they don’t have any covering gender identity.

The numerous murders of trans individuals this year shows that legislation is needed, and attitudes in our society need to change, badly. The “T” in LGBT has too often been ignored, and it’s about time that reparations are made.

 

Letter by Robert Scott, junior from Paris, Tenn.