10 July 2013

A Self-Hater Smears Tyler Clementi With A Stereotype

Robert Oscar Lopez may well have the courage of his convictions.  But, it seems that he doesn't have a whole lot of logic to back them up.

He was raised by a same-sex couple but has become an anti-gay activist. I don't even need to speculate about that; if anyone is still paying attention to him in a few years, we'll find out what has motivated him.  Perhaps it's nothing more than the youthful rebellion people often express against their parents.

Lopez claims that Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge not because his roommate secretly recorded him kissing another man and aired that video on YouTube, but because he was raped by gay paedophiles when he was a teenager.

Now, in spite of its reliance on, and reinforcement of, crude stereotypes, I am willing to entertain such a notion pending further evidence and explanation.  Most paedophiles are not gay; they do not engage in sex with adults of their own gender. (I know this from experience; as a child I was sexually assaulted by a man who was not sexually interested in grown men.  Then again, one could argue--as I would--that I wasn't a boy.)  But, even if we allow Lopez the benefit of the doubt when he expresses such crude and misinformed notions, we cannot let this go:  He says that society's acceptance of homosexuality has resulted in the widespread sexual abuse of children by gay men.

I have yet to see a plausible explanation of how "acceptance" of homosexuality results in gay men having sex with children.  In fact, I don't see how "acceptance" of any sort of orientation results in more sex of any kind.  As we have seen, people express their love and attractions whether or not society approves of them:  The only thing that changes is that they become more open about such expression when they are less likely to face hostility.  

And what do gay men express more openly?  Their love of other men.  If we accept all of the research--and testimony of gay men and other people--that "gay" is not synonymous with "paedophile", it's absurd to claim that an "acceptance" of homosexuality leads to paedophilia.

On top of that--This is something else I can say from my own experience and that of others--people rarely, if ever, commit suicide over being sexually abused.  At least, we don't do it in the way of Tyler Clementi: Sometimes we engage in self-destructive behavior of other kinds that leads, over time, to our deaths.  More often, though, we drink too much, take drugs or engage in other self-destructive behavior until something leads us to confront the abuse we experienced.  Or we express it in other ways:  Had Tyler Clementi been sexually abused, he might have expressed it in the way he played the music he was studying.  And, perhaps, he might have had a breakdown or some other traumatic event.  But I have a hard time believing he'd have killed himself over childhood sexual abuse--or, for that matter, had he experienced such abuse, that it would have been committed by a gay man.

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