Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Gay Panic Defense

Recently I read an article about the “Gay Panic” defense.  It is a defense tactic offenders of anti-gay violence use to try and circumvent getting their asses thrown in jail.  In the “Gay Panic” defense the defended claim to have been the object of homosexual romantic or sexual advances and found these advances so offensive and frightening that it brought on a psychotic state characterized by extreme and unusual violence.  In other words they committed a hate crime in self-defense because they feared being butt fucked by a penis or scissor’ed by a vagina.  It’s a pathetic pretext, if you ask me, and does nothing but distracts from and trivializes the real issue of “Gay Panic” affecting the homosexual community which is far more prevalent and traumatic than what you are led to believe.
Gay Panic” in the homosexual community is not something we talk about.  To be honest, it is one of those taboos like porn before genital grooming became popular and the darkrooms at certain gay bars.  We all know it exists, we have all seen one, experiences one and none of us are willing to publically admit it.

But if you have ever seen a gay man trying to fit into a pair pants a size too small, realize the new designer couch he just bought is in fact too large for the lounge, been the tragic victim of a dye job gone wrong, or saw the coach of a lesbian softball team watching her them loose, you will know exactly what “Gay Panic” is and what it looks like.  It isn’t pretty.  It isn’t fun and it isn’t an excuse to commit a crime.  Or is it?

Just the other day I suffered from gay panic.  I was driving home from work and decided to stop at the shop to buy some essential items for that evening’s dinner.  As I drove into the parking area I noticed a guy parking in one of the disabled parking spots.  I thought nothing of it, until the man climbed out of his car that is.  The man wasn’t disabled.  He didn’t even have as much as a limp and it pissed me off.
So I did what any self-respecting homosexual would do.  I walked up to him and shouted “Praise Jesus!  Praise the LORD! It’s a miracle!” To which he responded by telling me to go and fuck myself.  Ok, so I didn’t suffer so much from gay panic as I did from gay anger but in circumstances like these they are closely related.  I wanted to key the asshole’s car but I didn’t.  But if I had and got caught I would have used the Gay Panic Defense.

Gay panic can strike at any time and at any place.  It’s especially bad when I take public transport and flying in economy class.  When I am on a plane I like to be left alone and that is why I always insist on either getting the window seat or the window seat.  By doing so I can turn away from the person sitting next to me and pretend they are not there.  If I remembered to charge my iPod it further helps me to exude that antisocial “if you touch me or talk to me you will die” vibe.  But unfortunately there are some people who are immune to this and in one out of every three flights I take, they end up sitting next to me.

A couple of weeks ago on my flight to Cape Town one such immune person ended up on my flight.  She was a recently widowed retired high school teacher, misses her kids who now live in the United States and to fight loneliness she travels and makes friends on planes and at airports.  She had an uncanny fondness for orthopedic shoes, a dog that is a diabetic, is allergic to onions and is a Sagittarius.
When she boarded the flight she was like a little loud tornado which headed straight for me.  I remember praying that she would not to occupy seat 19B.  As she got closer and louder I could feel the gay panic swell up inside of me.  To my horror she was to sit iseat 19B, I checked her boarding pass.  Her ass had not even touched the seat yet before she started asking me questions.

Sweet heart, can you please ring my phone?  I think I lost it” she asked while rummaging through her handbag which could carry two dead backstreet boys and a medium sized dog through customs without any problem.  “It’s not ringing, it goes to voicemail” I mumbled.  “Oh sweat child, you can call me M’am.  I must have left it at the check-in counter” she said in her annoying old school teacher authoritative voice.  Realizing that there was a real possibility that she might never see her phone again (it was Johannesburg after all) she made a beeline for the cabin crew, consequently delaying our flight with 15 minutes.

As it turns out she did leave her phone at check-in and she spend the remainder of the flight talking to me only pausing briefly to breath.  I wanted to die!  Had I lost it and strangled her with her lilac scarf and got arrested, I would have used the Gay Panic Defense and also blamed the altitude and poorly controlled cabin pressure.  However, I did kill her (a couple of times) in my head and worked out a new ingenious method for in-flight murder involving a seatbelt, the food tray and two barth bags.
Sometimes episodes of gay panic can also be predicted.  You see this coming Saturday there is a high probability that I will experience a gay panic of sorts.  You see it is my godson’s baptism and it will be happing in a Catholic Church.  We all know how much I adore the Catholic Church and how much the Vatican loves me.  Holy Sea, Vatican City still pops by my blog every now-and-again and I am surprised that they have not issued an arrest warrant for me yet or at the very least banned me from all their premises.

With the countdown to Saturday, I suspect that I will either be truck by lightening, be kidnapped and tortured by the Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Citta del Vaticano or worse.  But hey, the day is not about me and even Pope Benedict XVI will concede that making a scene would be in bad taste and not very Christian like.  So in nomine Patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti I shall keep my mouth shut, head down and hide my gay panic as best I can.  All the while keeping an eye out for and staying clear off cars with tinted windows and men in dark blue uniforms.

Yes people, gay panic is a real problem.  We all suffer from it from time-to-time for various reasons.  It can strike without warning on a plane in cattle class, in a parking area at your local mall, in your living room, at your hairdresser’s, next to the sport field and even in Church.  Currently there is no cure for gay panic and it has not been tested in any court of law as a viable defense, but is does exist.  Ask your doctor about Gay Panic today, even though it cannot be cured I am sure it can be treated.

Till next time.

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