Volume 91, Issue 60

Thursday, January 15, 1998

round and round


Alone in a world of hate

Re: Homosexual discrimination

To the Editor:
Two weeks ago, my friend Elizabeth's lover Amy attempted suicide. Their story, I am sure, is not an uncommon one and it further illustrates my points in my previous letters, especially the effect the attitude an entire society has on a single person. I am deeply moved by their story and hope that it gives an insight into the adversities faced by gays, lesbians and bisexuals in our time. They say no man is an island, but sometimes one can feel like a peninsula.

Elizabeth and Amy were walked in on by Amy's mother while they were kissing. Her mother immediately turned monstrous and began shouting, "What have you done to my daughter!?! You disgusting homosexual!" Followed by a long nasty tirade of screaming and insults with aggressive gestures and a vow that she "wasn't going to allow Amy to be gay" (as if) and that she would "do something about it." Then followed a hard, stinging slap received by Amy before her mother belted out of the room.

Elizabeth was forced to leave their home and that was the last Elizabeth saw or heard of Amy. That was two weeks ago. Amy hasn't been to class since and her phone is off the hook. The next thing Elizabeth knew was that Amy was in the hospital. When Elizabeth inquired about Amy to her sister, she was told that Amy had a stomach ache and was getting it 'seen about.' The truth was that she was having her stomach pumped because of a toxic overdose of Tylenol, Advil and other drugs. Elizabeth was forced to sneak into the hospital room only to be met with the sight of her sick pallor lover vomiting and with tubes all over her.

Elizabeth felt helpless and out of control. I did not know how to answer her pleads for help. She was so afraid that she would lose the girl she loved and the desperation in her voice frightened me. Luckily, Amy survived the attempt but has not yet fully recovered physically, far less psychologically or emotionally.

What hurt me most was that Amy was woefully overburdened and felt like she was on the edge, a disjointed entity from her family with no auxiliary elements to support her and forbidden by her family to see the girl she loved. I do not blame them for concealing the truth from both sets of parents, when taking reality into account, they were avoiding an unnecessary network of complex problems that were doomed to make a terrible thing (their parents predicted reaction) more tragic. They did not have deceptive intentions and perhaps they wanted to be caught at some point down the line to release the burden of concealment. But sometimes we simply cannot tell the whole truth at once, to avoid further threat or loss, or to avoid the actualization of their expectations, which is exactly what happened. The truth was most unwelcome.

We should feel jolted and shaken up by this story and it should push us to consider the profound condemnations of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in our culture and like a cancer, the intense pain, suffering and murdering of spirits experienced by people such as my two friends. Anyone who is insensitive and callous in this respect is also a perpetrator, as sure as the sun and as set as the stars in the sky, and if not, then the word no longer means what it does.

Sara Archer
Visual Arts I

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Copyright The Gazette 1998