Gender and Sexual Orientation: the Lawrence King Story

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Gender and Sexual Orientation Essay
Tito Valdez
ETH/125
May 6, 2012
Deborah Heigel

Gender and Sexual Orientation Essay

Lawrence King was a 15 year old boy, who had recently revealed that he was gay, was shot twice in the back of the head and killed in front of a classroom full of students, in 2008.

King, a student at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard had started wearing makeup, jewelry and women's high heeled boots. Classmates said that the day before the shooting, there was a verbal confrontation regarding Lawrence’s sexual orientation between a group of boys and Lawrence. One of the boys involved in the confrontation is 14 year Brandon McInerney. McInerney returns to school the following day with a loaded gun and seats himself behind Lawrence in a Computer Lab class, then shoots and kills him. Brandon McInerney, is charged with murder, and will be tried as an adult. As the case goes to court, it opens a plethora of issue concerning gays, transgender people, bullying, white supremacy, and child abuse and school violence. Witnesses have stated that Lawrence had been bullied for years at school because he was gay. The other boys would not allow him to sit with them at lunch, or associate with them. Most of Lawrence’s friends were girls. They testified that to get even with the bully’s King would flirt with them. The defense will use an argument known as the "gay panic defense.” Where, the defense argues that a gay person’s sexual advances can cause a person to be so frightened, that it can cause them to react violently.

This case has caused quite a bit of emotional response from, not only the families involved, but from the public as well. Further complicating the case, and adding to the emotional aspects, are the facts that King was a foster child living at a shelter for abused and troubled children. McInerny’s father is a drug addict, and known by neighbors to be physically and verbally abusive to his son....
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