October 27, 2009 by alunparry
Another Vicious Anti Gay Attack
It’s October. Just a year ago this very month, the friends and family of 18 year old Michael Causer were attending his funeral. He was murdered following a vicious homophobic attack here in Liverpool.
On Sunday night, another young gay man, James Parkes, aged just 22, was attacked in Liverpool City Centre by up to 20 youths.
Local media report that he is in hospital with life threatening injuries which include multiple skull fractures, a fractured cheek bone and a fractured eye socket.
In 2007, The Independent reported that 60% of Liverpool’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in Liverpool have suffered some form of homophobic crime.
From my own friends and family, I know this to be true.
I wrote Waiting For The Lovers (song and vid below) a few years ago after a friend of mine was beaten up for having the temerity to hold hands while walking down the street with their same sex partner.
And a straight friend of mine was beaten up a couple of years ago after emerging from one of the city’s gay bars following a pint with his best mate at work, who happens to be gay.
It strikes me that homophobic abuse is considered far more acceptable in our society than racism is.
Look at football as an example. We’ve had Kick Racism Out Of Football. Where are the Kick Homophobia Out Of Football campaigns. Homophobic abuse seems much more widespread at football matches in my experience.
At a non league football match last season for instance the young goalkeeper went down injured and was pilloried with some venom for being “a fucking queer!!”
When I tried to tackle this on the club’s fans forum I received very little support and in some of the viler quarters outright hostility.
But homophobia, as the attacks on Michael and James have shown, is just as vicious as racism and needs the same challenging reaction.
Two such attacks in our city in such a short space of time demands a genuine response.
The annual Homotopia Festival, which starts in Liverpool on Sunday and runs for the entire month, is part of that response. It’s focus this year is “Homotopia NOT Homophobia”.
But the challenge cannot be limited to the gay community. It must be fought by all of us wherever we encounter it.
Homophobia is not funny or comical or acceptable or a non-issue. It is deadly.
It is time to treat it as such.
Waiting For The Lovers Song: [audio: PARRYWS06.mp3]
Waiting For The Lovers Video: