A Gift, from the Homophobic Culture

I have been sitting on this story for about a week now. I am not entirely sure what to do with it. It isn’t my story really, and it isn’t public, and I don’t really own any part of it. So it feels somewhat wrong to tell it.

But I also have children, and that includes, in my mind, some people that I love like they were my children even though they aren’t. And I would never want this to happen to them. So the story is general, and the names are not there, and hopefully that is enough to protect those that should be.

And maybe stories make a difference.

As I said, this isn’t my story. It is in fact the story of a friend of a friend. This person, a young girl, twenties, is a lesbian. She has known for some time, and been out to her parents for a couple of years I believe. Her family is mormon, though that isn’t particularly important. It is enough to know that they never understood, never agreed, never accepted who their daughter is. And while the religion isn’t the reason, it certainly played a part in that lack of acceptance.

A little while ago she came back home to visit the family, and her mother had set her up on a date with a boy. Now as I said her mother knows, and this girl has been in a relationship for a while now. To even suggest such a thing is pretty inappropriate. But as a good daughter she agreed to go out with this guy, you know, just this once.

The next day she wakes up at his place, and she can’t recall the entire night before. Now those of us who keep track of such horrible things have a pretty good why that is, and what happened, but she was in shock. She called a few friends, asked for opinions, and ultimately decided she didn’t want to face the obvious. She instead backed up, cut her visit to see family short, and went home.

This isn’t the upsetting part.

A few weeks later her father calls her up, and asks if she was raped. She says that she doesn’t know. Her father says he does know, because the boy Mom set her up with felt guilty about it and confessed. To her father. I can only imagine not only being raped, but having the person then ignore you and instead admit the crime, to your father.

This, also, is not the upsetting part.

The boy in question did it based on the idea that she, as a lesbian, just didn’t know what she wanted, and had simply made a bad choice, and that if she had a night with a man, she would be “cured” and no longer a “sinner.”

This, I will insist again, is not what upsets me.

It was Mom who set up the date you will recall. And provided the idea that engaging in hetro-sex would cure her daughter. And helped him get the drugs.

To be honest however, as deeply disturbing as that set of actions is, the part that really reaches in and hits me where I live and takes my breath away and leaves me with a hollow feeling in the chest, is the realization that these ideas, this notion of what it is to be a person and what it means to be the “other” in our world, that isn’t just some crazy woman who had her daughter raped. It is all around us.

When society drops a little homophobia in a movie for no reason, or teaches 6th graders that saying “that is so gay” is an insult, we are creating a culture that is hostile to one particular group. And this young girl paid the price for it.

When we say it is OK to cuff and drag a gay couple off of the temple grounds, after all it is private property, we are adding to that culture. When we feed stereotypes we are adding to that culture. When you laugh at the homophobic joke your co-worker tells, or listen to people with no evidence on their side claim that gays can be “cured” despite the evidence, you are allowing the idea that there is something wrong, rather than something simply different. And you are adding to that culture.

When Paul and the Sutherland Institute swing around their “it is a choice” battle cry, we need to see that it is equivalent to the guy who defends rapists by saying “she had on tight clothes, she was just asking for it.”

When we watch the LDS church claim they aren’t homophobic, and that common ground can be reached, even while they destroy bills that would help reach that ground, we are just watching a big, none too subtle, wink and nod at the culture of hate. When we see the single largest cultural influence in Utah raise money to take rights away from people based on beliefs they have no right to export onto others, we are simply watching the same long drawn out battle that has gone on with women, non white races, youth, counter culture, etc etc etc. We are watching fear and ignorance and a desire to hold on to power being turned into a poisonous brew that claims to be the culture of family values. And it certainly won’t be exported in the same way to everyone, but it is still poisonous.

Because in that culture, a culture that teaches people in a million subtle and not subtle ways that to be GLBT is to have something wrong with you, to have something that should be cured, or fixed, some people get the message more directly than most. And act on it.

And that is their “family values.” When your mother arranges your rape.

  1. #1 by anonymous on July 25, 2009 - 4:02 pm

    Sounds like you have rape, conspiracy to commit a felony on Mom’s part, conspiracy to assault with a pharmaceutical, and accessory to rape. I’m sure there is more. Ghastly.

    Any charges in it so far or is it being covered up?

    If charges and convictions cannot be made then the cause you describe is in worse shape than we imagine, still in the dark largely. We can educate people, but cannot unfortunately control where their minds go.

    Time for the law, the simplicity of prosecuting these people for their acts has to now take charge.

  2. #2 by Cliff Lyon on July 25, 2009 - 7:32 pm

    Too sick to comment. I need to stay in denial.

  3. #3 by cav on July 25, 2009 - 7:57 pm

    Those were my feelings as well. And something to the effect of this modern conservatism being as much of the problem as the easy availability of date-rape drugs, abstinence-only, fear of differences, and the whole slew of neanderthal notions that go with the superstitious mind.

    My prayers, such as they are, go out to the victims.

  4. #4 by Richard Warnick on July 25, 2009 - 8:49 pm

    And tonight on the local TV news they talked about homeless teens thrown out of the house by their parents for being homosexual. There are a lot of really sad stories.

  5. #5 by Becky Stauffer on July 25, 2009 - 10:47 pm

    Is this story true? I can’t imagine such a mother. I just can’t grasp it. This is not what mothers do. For a mother to be so brainwashed by her religion as to turn on her own child is sick beyond belief. I’ll be in denial, not because I don’t believe you Shane, but because I can’t handle the truth.

  6. #6 by Doorman-Priest on July 26, 2009 - 6:16 am

    Very much looking forward to seeing the courtcase in the media.

    Is the mother completely mad?

  7. #7 by Leonardo Ricardo on July 26, 2009 - 7:24 am

    Sure, it´s LDS madness but they are not alone…this same spiritual illness can be found amongst the Fundamentalists of all stripe…consider the on-death-row inmates who tell us ¨God told me to kill¨ in the cases of LGBT hate/murder.

    Spiritually sick is emotionally sick and these desperate seekers of salvation have much to pretend…but, in the end there is no place to hide.

  8. #8 by Shane Smith on July 26, 2009 - 2:41 pm

    It is indeed a true story. I doubt you will ever see a court case due to the nature of the case and the people involved, about which I can say no more as it hints at who they are. But like the stories of the homosexual kids thrown out of their homes, and the young boys born into polygamous groups, and the children of “relationships” (ok, rape) between slave owners and slaves, and many other examples through history, shining a light on the story helps to make such acts go away.

    …I hope.

  9. #9 by James on July 27, 2009 - 8:41 am

    This is absolutely disgusting. I cannot imagine how you felt writing about it.

  10. #10 by Weer'd Beard on July 27, 2009 - 8:47 am

    Charges need to be filed and soon.

    Disgusting story, and I hope some fucked-up homophobic/family pride bullshit doesn’t get in the way of justice.

    If those who performed and orchestrated this crime don’t face justice this could happen to another young woman!

  11. #11 by wmdkitty on July 31, 2009 - 7:40 pm

    Please tell me they’re going to be prosecuted to the full extent the law allows!

  12. #12 by 13rats on July 31, 2009 - 8:47 pm

    It’s sickening that anybody would even entertain the idea of doing that, let alone actually put the plan to action. If they aren’t going to be prosecuted, I hope at least there are some other repercussions (e.g. I doubt the daughter will visit her parents again).

    I’m looking forward to the day when most people look on homophobes as unfavorably as racists are looked upon today, and hope it will be soon.

  13. #13 by a on August 1, 2009 - 9:28 am

    What did the mom hope to gain by giving a drug wherein she wouldn’t even remember what happened? If she indeed was attempting to “cure” her, and she couldn’t remember what happened, how was that going to cure her? Actually, she did her a favor giving her something that would blank out her memory.

    • #14 by wmdkitty on August 1, 2009 - 2:07 pm

      Not really.

      It’s worse to have to sit and wonder about what happened, than to know for sure. When you KNOW what you went through, you can deal with it.

  14. #15 by shane on August 1, 2009 - 9:50 am

    Again, I am sorry to point this out, but due to the nature of the family and the position the father holds the story is being hushed up in so far as I can tell. No family members besides the girl in question have spoken to anyone on this as far as I know.

    I can’t speak for other repercussions 13rats, but time will tell.

    What did the mom hope to gain? If we ask that we are asking for someone who is clearly not mentally stable, at least in this particular way, to make sense. I honestly can’t answer that.

  15. #16 by Kelly on August 1, 2009 - 2:26 pm

    This is such a horrible story, I want to cry just reading it. What kind of mother would do that to her own daughter? Disgusting. I hope those involved are brought up in court, I don’t give a damn who they are, someone needs to push for it.

  16. #17 by Marc on August 1, 2009 - 4:31 pm

    shane :
    Again, I am sorry to point this out, but due to the nature of the family and the position the father holds the story is being hushed up in so far as I can tell. No family members besides the girl in question have spoken to anyone on this as far as I know.

    Respectfully, Shane, the horrendous nature of the act supersedes the father’s “position.” This needs to be made public, and the mother and her accomplice brought to justice.

    • #18 by shane on August 2, 2009 - 9:43 am

      I agree. However I am not in a place to do so, and those who are in such a place have so far chosen not to.

  17. #19 by Tom on August 3, 2009 - 12:57 pm

    So there are self inflicted limits to justice. What is interesting is that if a citizen knows a crime has been committed, knows the people and the details they are compelled to tell authorities about it. To not do so is obstruction of justice. It is their legal duty as a citizen.

    Rarely prosecuted, but on the books. Yet people wonder why these things can continue as people prefer to look the other way, considering it not their business, or not their place.

    Any reason why this cannot reported anonymously, despite the apparent dislike of anonymity here?

    • #20 by shane on August 3, 2009 - 10:13 pm

      How about the fact that the person to whom it happened choose not to fight it in large part because she didn’t wish her life to become a media circus? She has already been violated once, is it really anyone else’s place to violate her again?

  18. #21 by Robspierre!! on August 3, 2009 - 11:40 pm

    Sorry, yes, a consideration in the face of the law and the public interest in what in this case is premeditated violent felony of a particularly heinous nature. The law provides protection of the victim in the process so ultimate public knowledge does not devolve to circus proportions.

    Those in the know who are law abiding are responsible to report. That be YOU now Shane!
    You could do this quietly, with guaranteed provision for the victim.

    Get with it Shane, since ya know. Help us all make a stand against heinous crime. Unless you are in fear of retribution, in that case ply anonymity. YOU have now the obligation. It is the law, unless you are in fear.

    Perhaps you may understand now, why anonymity is an absolute AMERICAN INALIENABLE RIGHT!!

    *Crime is crime, and not reporting it, is against the law, unless you can claim retribution or recrimination, which is why anonymity of criminal reporting, and naturally controvertial political commentary is implicitly directed as an anonymous act to be proven up upon reporting by in depth secondary criminal reporting by officials.

    The basis of the “tip” as it were, in the public interest.

    It is in the public interest isn’t it Shane?

    In passing, sometimes if you got no guts, it is vital to keep your stupid mouth SHUT!! Think of the girl, and nothing else BOOB!!

  19. #22 by Marc on August 4, 2009 - 5:20 pm

    shane :
    I agree. However I am not in a place to do so, and those who are in such a place have so far chosen not to.

    1) Just because others have chosen not to do something doesn’t mitigate your responsibility. If you see someone lying in the street and everyone else passes them by, are you really saying it’s justified to leave them there?

    2) By not saying something Shane, or at least encouraging your friend to say something, you are telling her that what happened is okay. Her father has already implied this by his inaction, so she’s probably not surprised by it from her friends.

    If you are her friend, or even just an acquaintance, you owe it to her to convince her to do everything in her power to report this. This wasn’t just a simple assault. Someone didn’t trip her in the hallway because they didn’t like her. This wasn’t even just a “simple” rape by someone in a parking lot. This was the active planning of her mother to drug her and have a guy rape her! This needs to be reported, and it needs to be punished. You cannot be a decent human being and sit by and say, “it’s not my problem” here.

    Like robospierre pointed out, if you’re concerned about retaliation, do it anonymously. But do it, for the sake justice, and this woman’s dignity, and for the sake of your own humanity.

  20. #23 by stacy on August 6, 2009 - 8:41 am

    The women is not a minor, so even if it was reported if she chooses not to press charges nothing will happen. She will be humiliated maybe and the center of attention she doesn’t want, but that would be all. It is ultimately her choice. The fact that shane told this much is plenty and I am sure he is supporting her as he can. It is not your place nor mine to make this choice. Unfortunately in cases like this there is not prosecution without the pressing of charges. If not, the judicial system would be a much different place for the perpertrators of Demestic Violence and Date Rape (which goes unreported more than it is reported.)

  21. #24 by Jack Young on August 6, 2009 - 4:41 pm

    Your statement is untrue stacy.

    “It is not your place nor mine to make this choice”

    The legal machine of State moves to prosecute in the public interest all on its own if there is evidence to promote it. In that sense you are correct, it is up to the DA if there is evidence, it is going forward.

    It has nothing to do with whether she is a minor or not. The State has an obligation to prosecute crimes, especially felonies of a heinous nature. The crime Shane blathered about is not a civil crime, it is criminal and not pressing charges if evidence is readily available is not an option. Shane appears to have evidence in spades. He needs deposing.

    How many domestic violence cases are prosecuted despite the victim at times not wishing to press charges? Any signs of abuse upon the call and the accused(spouse, parent, relative) is going to jail. If you are confused stacy, that would be most of them.

    Your perception in this particular case is incorrect. What is worse is that by Shane concealing the identity of the perpetrator is actually obstructing justice. Timeliness in reporting being essential to the collection of evidence.

    He is however, a hell of a guy, by all perceptions here.

  22. #25 by Jack Young on August 6, 2009 - 4:54 pm

    Then again Stacy, if you are reporting from Utah, I can’t say you might not be describing a backwater situation which has not caught up to the modern world.

    My own experiences of legal activities in Utah is that it is one F***** monkey palace.

  23. #26 by Mandy on August 7, 2009 - 8:20 am

    My God!! That is just horrifying and disgusting!! I hope that mother goes to jail along with her co-conspirator!! And how exactly, are you suppose to be ‘cured’ through rape – drugged or otherwise?! Rape has a tendency to make you less inclined to trust the other sex, much less ‘switch sides’!! What the hell is wrong with those people?! and what is up with her dad? Why isn’t he outraged?!

    ‘Cured’ my ass…why couldn’t they just accept who she is? This extreme is just too damned much to even – arrghhh!!

    I hope she washes her hands of the whole family!! This is outrageous and pertrifying! Some mother that lady turned out to be! The poor girl. Hope she can get help and put this all behind her.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: