October 18th, 2005
The recent homophobic killing of 24-year-old Jody Dobrowski on Clapham Common has indicated we’ve still a way to go when it comes to lesbian and gay equality.
A number of gay organisations have criticised the police over their handling of the case, particularly their delays in talking to witnesses or taking action. Whilst suspects have now been arrested, gay groups are urging witnesses or those with any information to contact the police.
Parts of the media have handled the case seriously, keeping an eye on the investigation. Sadly other areas of the media haven’t been quite so enlightened. Last night I watched our local BBC (London) TV news whose coverage implied gay men invited homophobic abuse for having sex in public places – like heterosexuals never do that!!
Rather than seeing the attack as being motivated by homophobia, much news coverage has focused on the victim being gay.
Until we can get our media to understand that it isn’t the sexuality of the victim that’s important but the hatred of the attacker, and to get them to realise apportioning blame to victims may aggravate homophobic abuse, then we won’t have justice for people like Jody.
My thoughts are with Jody’s family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.Tweet