Eyes Opened Wide

Guest post by Patricia Budd


When I first opened my Facebook Page Hadrian’s Lover (also the title of my soon to be released third novel) I thought I had seen and heard the worst of the homophobic violence out there. In the dedications to Hadrian’s Lover I remind people that the world must never forget what happened to Matthew Wayne Shepard (tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming October, 1998[1]). Sadly, the world seems resolute not to learn! If anything, violence against homosexuals is overwhelmingly popular around the globe.

            One of the first stories I uncovered as I researched for news about the LGBT community for my page was “the face of homophobia”. Wilfred de Bruijn of Paris, France was brutally beaten for walking arm and arm with his lover. He posted an image of his battered face on Facebook so the world could be witness to the hate crime he had suffered.




I was stunned. Paris, France? Impossible. Paris brings to mind La Cage Aux Folles, acceptance and understanding. Such was not the case for de Bruijin and his lover.

            Next came the horrifying story of a young Somali man stoned to death for being gay. The scene of the young man’s death was described as being “straight out of the Dark Ages,” as “this Somali young man accused of sodomy was stoned to death by Islamic thugs while horrified villagers were forced to watch.” Reading the story was sickening enough but to view the image of the youth’s body as he was being lifted from the hole they had buried him in was heart wrenching!




And to think, “horrified villagers” were forced to watch.

            Somalia is not the only country in which homosexual men have been murdered in recent months. The Russian LGBT community has suffered substantially from hate crimes and vicious abuses. The homicide of 23-year-old Gladiola Tornovoi was especially heinous. His attackers raped him with beer bottles before smashing in his skull with a rock.[4] I cried when I read this story. All I could think of was how horrifying the last hour of his life must have been! I created a meme in his honor as I believe his death should not go unnoticed. It is something the world needs to remember and demand never happens again.





His brutal and graphic death made me think of what had happened to Matthew Wayne Shepard and I was saddened by the reality that world has yet to learn.

            Even citizens of the United Sates of America, where Shepard’s death was said to have “shocked the entire nation” and be “a wake-up call” regarding homophobic violence in their country, continue to experience violent discrimination against gay men. Shepard’s name was also said to have “become synonymous with the fight against discrimination and bigoted violence”.[6] And yet, the brutality continues. A Gay man was attacked on a New York City Subway while onlookers simply watched.[7] A gay man, 32-year-old Mark Carson, was gunned down in New York. Shot in the face.[8] Shortly after a rally held in mourning of Carson’s murder there was a rash of attacks on other gay men in the city. “Dan Contarino, a nightlife promoter, was brutally beaten … in the East Village around the same time a gay male couple were also attacked in the SoHo neighborhood.”[9] The violence against gay men has to stop!

            And yet it persists. Why? Because society condones prejudice against homosexuality; thus, we allow it to happen. We allow it to happen every time we utter the phrase “that’s so gay”. We allow it to happen every time we call someone a fag. We allow it to happen every time we say it is a sin. We allow it to happen every time we say it is unnatural. Every time we, or someone around us, is intolerant and we do nothing about it we allow it to happen. Those who stone, rape, beat and murder gay men are indeed the guilty parties but so are we because as a global society we perpetuate and promote the lie that gay men are sinful, unnatural and dirty. They are not! They are human beings who deserve to live full, happy lives with their dignity intact.



Belonsky, Andrew. “Not Just a New York City Hate Crime”. OUT. POPNOGRAPHY. 5.20.2013.



Broverman, Neal. The Advocate. “Gay Man Gunned Down in NYC Street, Dies”. MAY 18, 2013 7:24 PM ET UPDATED: MAY 19 2013 5:43 PM ET. http://www.advocate.com/crime/2013/05/18/gay-man-gunned-down-nyc-street-dies


LaVictoire, Bridgette P. “18-Year Old Stoned To Death In Somalia For Being Gay”

QUILTBAG News. Posted March 20, 2013. http://deathpenaltynews.blogspot.ca/2013/03/gay-teen-stoned-to-death-in-somalia.html


McPherson, Scott. “Multiple Attacks on Gay Men in NYC, Hours After Rally”. the Advocate. MAY 21 2013 1:57 PM ET. http://www.advocate.com/crime/2013/05/21/another-gay-man-attacked-new-york-city


Pinfold, Corinne. “Russia: Identity of man killed and raped with beer bottles revealed”. Posted13 May 2013, 7:35pm. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/05/13/russia-identity-of-man-killed-and-raped-with-beer-bottles-revealed/


Sieczkowski, Cavan. “Gay Man Attacked On New York City Subway, Onlookers Do Nothing (VIDEO)”. The Huffington Post. Posted: 02/21/2013 12:08 pm EST



Willsher, Kim. “Gay man reveals bloodstained ‘face of French homophobia’ on Facebook”. The Guardian.co.uk. Tuesday 9 April 2013 15.56 BST.



“Deadly homophobia: Man ‘killed for being gay’ in Southern Russia”. RT. Published time: May 13, 2013 12:44. http://rt.com/news/man-killed-homophobia-russia-198/


[1] Matthew Shepard Foundation: http://www.facebook.com/Matthew.Shepard.Foundation/info

[2] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr/09/gay-man-french-homophobia-facebook


[3] http://deathpenaltynews.blogspot.ca/2013/03/gay-teen-stoned-to-death-in-somalia.html

[4] http://rt.com/news/man-killed-homophobia-russia-198/

[5] http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/05/13/russia-identity-of-man-killed-and-raped-with-beer-bottles-revealed/

[6] http://www.out.com/entertainment/popnography/2013/05/20/not-just-new-york-city-hate-crime

[7] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/21/gay-man-attacked-new-york-city-subway-hate-crime_n_2733441.html

[8] http://www.advocate.com/crime/2013/05/18/gay-man-gunned-down-nyc-street-dies

[9] http://www.advocate.com/crime/2013/05/21/another-gay-man-attacked-new-york-city



Posted on August 15, 2013, in Blogging Authors, Writing & Publishing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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