Letters to the editor

Time For Spotlight on Violence in Our Midst

February 9, 2005

To the Editor:

I, for one, was proud of Gay City News for featuring the “Lesbian Rape Charged”story story on its front cover (by Mick Meenan, Jan.20-26).

If it was “sensationalistic,” more’s the power of the media in owning up to such intolerable violence within our community. I realize some would disagree or view this as a kind of "dissing" of the lesbian and gay community—after all, doesn’t “straight” media play this sort of thing up all the time? True enough. But, by playing such violent crime down—and let’s call rape for what it is—we are implying a tacit approval by our community.

As proud of our community as I am, particularly in light of the outrageous political onslaught against us, we need to face the fact that some (or possibly more than some) of us are not above perpetuating violence. Such criminals may view this as something they can easily get away with because of the “hush hush” attitude that they are not going to be called on their vicious actions. Utter bosh!

These were not merely "bad girls" who deserve a simple slap on the wris—these women (and at 21 and 23, they are well past the "girl" stage) had knives and could have potentially murdered this young woman. They had also threatened a man who had a court order against them and were found with an extensive collection of knives.

I have heard one too many stories of lesbian rape by other lesbians—the trauma these women experience is no way less intensive than that of a heterosexual rape. Indeed, it may be more so as a violation by a "trusted sister" (or "brother" in the case of male-on-male rape).

I honor your featuring this story so prominently. Perhaps lesbian and other LGBT criminals will think twice before violating those of us who are willing to stand up against it. Lesbian-on-lesbian rape and violence, as with any gay-on-gay crime, is a very real issue that has too long had its day of being “in the closet.”

Calley Shelton

Brooklyn

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