Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

The Media and Hate Crimes

Media coverage of these outrages has been poor.  The average American does not believe that anyone has been killed for being gay since the murder of Matthew Shepard.  After the flurry of interest waned following Shepard’s murder in 1998, the killings of LGBT people have been buried in the back pages of newspapers or not reported at all in the national press.

The regional or local reporting that is done in the mainstream media often minimizes hate crimes by seeking to blame the victims for the evil that befell them.  When victims are non-white, female, disabled, no longer young and attractive, or transgender, thier stories are downplayed even more.

Take for example a recent Newsweek cover story which on the surface seems open to reporting about the anti-gay hate crime that claimed the life of Lawrence “Larry” King.  The article, however, has come under scrutiny for having used biased language, anti-gay catch phrases, stereotypical descriptions, and one-sided reporting to characterize the victim’s own role in the hate crime that claimed his life.

Even coverage by the LGBT press appears occasional, spotty, and selective.  Yet the brutality continues apace in such a way that whole regional populations of LGBT people are being terrorized while national press turns a blind eye and deaf ear, helping to construct a new closet of fear in America.


  1. Teach Your Children Well will screen on May 15, 2011 in Long Beach, Califonria with the film’s narrator Lily Tomlin making a very special appearance.

    Comment by t | May 1, 2011 | Reply

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