Cause and effect, homophobic crime

Homophobic crime is on the increase, both in London and elsewhere. This is due to a rise in the reporting of homophobic crimes by the victims. Proof, if proof were needed, of the importance of reporting such crimes: if unreported, the significant presence of homophobic violence is distorted in the minds of people, since it lacks media representation. If unreported, the idea of homophobic violence is viewed by straight people as an exaggerated phenomenon; the picture of it unduly emphasised from the perspective of the severity of single incidents. The argument follows that exaggeration is likely to follow such traumatic experiences. But all homophobic attacks, fatal or otherwise, are of equal significance as indicators of the fundamental hatred of people towards gays, lesbians, and transsexuals. Look at him, in the post below; Edmund White, one of the world’s most prominent queer figures: he’ll tell you. As will Judith Butler, whose oft-repeated description of a gay American teenager’s death at the hands of homophobic killers having resulting from the victim’s characteristic walk, always jars, shocks, stuns one in its reminder of the disproportionate nature of totally insubstantial cause and fatal effect: simply, he died because he walked in a certain way. Not a cause at all; should never be an effect.

Ian Baynham, who was attacked in Trafalgar Square in a suspected homophobic attack, died in hospital on Tuesday. The police are still looking for his attackers, who appeared to be hell-bent one night on destroying a life. It has come to light that a passerby unwittingly enabled Baynham’s attacker to do the deed by releasing her from the victim’s friend, who challenged her language and behaviour and who might have succeeded in preventing the brutal attack from happening. In this terrible misinterpretation by a passerby, the attacker was thought to be the victim.

Read the news. Understand the rapidity of cause and effect.

Remember Ian Baynham and the others who have died like him.


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