This story acutely demonstrates the persistence and severity of cultural homophobia still present today. I noticed when discussing Michael Causer’s attack, that my friends and colleagues had not heard about it, somehow this violence had slipped under the radar of the mainstream news media. Of course gay websites and blogs and a formidable presence on Facebook has spread the word through existing networks and the local printed media has kept up to date with the developing story (at least on-line) and this is to be acknowledged.
Though despite the close proximity of Michael Causer’s murder to the stabbing of Anthony Walker, the mainstream news providers have not seen fit to give Michael Causer’s story similar coverage, the potential for local and national debate is obvious and has somehow been overlooked. In some preliminary on-line research on this media oversight I came across several other stories regarding severe homophobic attacks across the world that have occurred this year.
What has struck me throughout my work on The Pansy Project is the difference in which gay people respond to the experience of homophobia on the street, some wither, some fight, others run, though most accept it and move on. Determined not to let it ruin their lives, keen to brush it off as one of life’s inconveniences, this is admirable for those strong enough to fend off the bullying few. Though what of the people less able or willing to fend off two or three oppressors such as the Michael Causer case? What is clear to me is that homophobia is generally acceptable to one degree or another. From “That’s ‘gay’ that is!” in the classroom to a Chris Moyles jibe on the radio to vicious targeted attack on the street, every insult based in bias is utterly unacceptable.
My thoughts are with Michael Causer’s family and for all those who experience homophobia in all it’s guises from verbal attack and violent aggression to the experience of being unheard in a society indifferent to intolerance and injustice.