Yesterday in Oxnard California, a couple of high school sophomores used flyers and MySpace pages to throw together a rally for Lawrence King. Larry King is the 15 year old middle school gay boy who was shot to death last week. The kids thought 100 to 200 people would show up and so notified the police.
Over 1,000 young men and women rallied in support of Larry King and schools where there was safe room for everyone. Goth kids and skateboarders, lots of pretty middle school and high school girls, many races and creeds: they all came to stand together for tolerance and against bullies.
The kids at the rally report that Larry was bullied often. But he stood strong. He wore his famous high heeled boots and some days wore makeup. This school year he came out as gay. The kids at his school say they really liked him and hope he knew they liked him.
The press is reporting that Larry King may have told his assasin that he had a crush on him shortly before the shooting. The press reports that Larry King made no apologies about being gay and wore more makeup than normal the two weeks preceeding his murder.
I can’t help but feel the similarities between the murders of Larry King and Matthew Sheperd. Both were openly gay and killed for being opening gay. Tragic. But there are real differences too.
Larry King is only 15. Kids are marching in the streets … but the adults aren’t…even in cities.I have not heard any politicians speaking out against the horror of Larry King’s murder. Neither Sen. Clinton nor Sen. Obama nor Sen. McCain is calling for anti-bullying training or tolerence funding. No, none of that. I have not even heard from the WBC … though I haven’t been listening very hard.
The other BIG difference is between Wyoming and California. Here in California we have about every pro-LGBT law (except marriage) I, for one, can think of. As of January 1, 2008, we have anti-harassment training in the public schools. We have it so one can’t teach information against LGBT folks. We have all kinds of anti-discrimination protections.
What we still don’t have is a way to 100% protect the Larry King’s in Middle School. It is getting better. But we ain’t there yet.
Still, I think and hope we will take to the streets across this country for Larry King and for all our kids. They need to see us standing up for them. Blogs aren’t enough, not nearly enough.
I am mourning the death of my husband three weeks ago. I live in the country … the nearest small town is half an hour away. But I promise you this. Within one week, in memory of my Steve and Larry King, there will be a rally for the LGBT kids in that small town. Will you do the same?