A stark reminder in the midst of gay revelry

I’ve been having quite a bit of fun lately, what with Pride weekend closely followed by Out On Screen’s Queer Film Festival. Love and Numbers is screening again on Sunday afternoon at 2, followed by a panel. I’ve been surrounded by all shades of queer, sexy femmes and swaggering butches and gay men and trannies and bisexuals to be sure. Living in a somewhat cosmopolitan city in Western culture, just newly able to legally marry, things look pretty good for queers here. There still are issues, to be sure. Lest we not forget Aaron Webster, the gay man who was brutally murdered in Stanley Park and whose death was not declared a hate crime. I don’t know, but when a lot of straight men attack a gay man with baseball bats, I call that a hate crime.

But maybe hate crime is not a strong enough word for what it really is. What it really is is genocide.

I was reminded of that this week when a friend forwarded on news about two gay teenagers in Iran who were sentenced to death for the capital crime of homosexuality. They were sixteen when the so called “crime” was committed. You can find pictures of their last moments alive here, here, and here.

I have to say, while all the images shocked and appalled me, I think the first one struck me the most, probably because one of the boys looks very similar to a dear gay friend of mine.

Since the Ayatolla’s took power in 1979, 4000 gays and lesbians have been executed. How can one not call that genocide?

One might argue it’s impossible to commit genocide towards queers, to which I say bunk. What about all the queers shipped off to concentration camps? And while we’re a funny culture in society because we pop up in any family anywhere, we are a very tribal people, having had the history of people being rejected by their families and making new, queer ones.

But really, what it comes down to is western guilt. As a queer in Canada, what the hell can I do to make being a homo easier for people worldwide? I don’t know why I feel this is my mission, but it is an important question.

In the meantime, I will say a prayer an continue being a raging Canadian dyke.

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