Sexual Hate Crimes

This paper discusses that hate crimes, harassment, and belittlement based on sexual orientation are a part of life in America; murder is not common.

This paper explains that the concept of ‘otherness’, or stigma, as a proponent of discriminatory practices dates back to the beginning of human history; stereotyping is associated with stigma in which contention is often based on a misrepresentation of the individual and the group. The author reviews ?The Laramie Project?, a play based on homosexual Matthew Shepard?s death and the aftermath of the hate crime. The paper relates that men tend to fear gay males as a threat to their definition of masculinity; thereby, the stigma of homosexuality is inflated in light of accepted stereotypes and misconceptions resulting in discriminatory practices, including murder.
“In 1995 Derek Henkle started his sophomore year at Galena High School in Washoe County, Nevada. He was openly gay, appearing on a local community access channel “in a discussion about the experiences of gay high school students. Soon thereafter, several students approached Henkle at school, calling him “fag,” “butt pirate,” “fairy,” and “homo.” They lassoed him around the neck and suggested dragging him behind a truck. He escaped to a classroom and used an internal phone to report the incident to Denise Hausauer, a vice principal” (Zirkel 412). In a democratic world based on equality, such as what is supposed to exist in the United States, it would be expected that Derek would be provided with protection and the students involved would suffer some sort of disciplinary measure. Instead, the administrator, after arriving two hours after being informed, laughed, reported the incident to the principal and the matter was dropped.”