Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Homophobia in London

AOG, London

I have been in London for less than 24 hours and already a story has hit the news that makes me loose my faith in humanity.

It appears that last week, right in Trafalgar Square, Ian Bayham, a 62 year old man, was assaulted outside the South African High Comission by three people.

Three teenagers, two of them girls of 17, and a boy of 19, named Joel Alexander, were arrested and will be tried in Court for the assault.

I cannot begin to understand what would make three young kids attack an older man because he was gay. According to the press, the motive of the assault is homophobia.

The Times writes that:

"Ian Baynham, 62, was walking through Trafalgar Square in Central London with a 30-year-old friend when a woman began shouting homophobic abuse at him.

He went to talk to her but she attacked him and a man with her is said to have punched him to the floor and then kicked him. A second young woman was also involved in the incident.

Mr Baynham, from Beckenham, southeast London, was taken to hospital after the attack two weeks ago suffering from severe brain damage."

Mr. Bayham died of a severe brain damage, according to the police, when doctors switched off his life support machine.

A vigil will take place this Friday in Trafalgar Square from 8 to 10 PM.

I have spent the afternoon with a good friend, and we were handed an invitation to the candle vigil.

Although I wish I could go, I won't be in London then, but I will be thinking about the incident.


Because with any luck, I might be 62 years old one day.

I would hate to be attacked by three teenagers so badly that I too would die from severe brain damage. And all because I was gay, like Ian Bayham.

I am sure that the kid's families are in shock as to the events and about what might happen to them. They have been charged, I think, with manslaughter.

There never is a reason as to why these things happen. How could there be? This is a hate crime, and like all hate crimes, it makes no sense. Ignorance is the motive. Also probably anger, and frustration. Alienation. It saddens me to read that these things still happen. It saddens me even more when I think that they will probably continue to happen when I turn 62.

For all our beauty, what a horrible species we really are.

Homo homini lupus .... indeed

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