Volume 37, Issue 2 (2008)
Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones and Words Can Really Hurt Me
Jane Close Conoley
Lawrence King (15 years old) was shot twice in his head on February 12, 2008, by a 14-year-old classmate at E. O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, California. The eighth-grade classmates of the perpetrator and the victim described the “bad blood” that existed between the two because of the victim’s openly gay appearance. Classmates admitted that the victim, a child from a foster setting, had been the target of harassment because of his feminine dress, hair arrangements, and other mannerisms that were gender non-normative. Gay-baiting and taunting turned deadly with the announcement that he was brain dead by February 14 (Saillant & Covarrubias, 2008).
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