Why Does it Matter that Mr. White was a Gay Veteran?

by Rachel Baker on November 15, 2014

Why do you supposed its important to state Mr. White is a) a veteran and b) a gay man?

Dude was in the military back in the 1980s – yes, he’s a veteran. Who gives a shit if he was gay. A man beat and damn near killed another man. Period. Why is the story written as it is.

Let’s lay out a similar scenario:
Man and woman leave the bar, bartender asks man if he’s going to spend the evening with woman. When the answer is yes, bartender says “well, I like Gigi a lot, Be nice to her.” Several hours later, from a hotel, there’s a 911 call, a fire alarm and an unconscious woman. She has been beaten, burned, and has her limbs amputated because of the burns. We leave her as she’s lying in ICU with her loved ones hoping she will survive.

Now questions: Would we know she was a veteran? Would we have to point out her sexual preferences? Would the police have felt the need to state it was a consensual encounter – and more importantly, would a reporter even have asked??

The answer to both of those are “no, probably not”, with the caveat that if she’s a prostitute or drug addict we’d probably never, ever even hear about the horrific atrocity.

So, then I ask again: Why do you supposed its important to state Mr. White is a) a veteran and b) a gay man?

Editor’s Note: there is an additional note at the bottom of the quoted section below. Its about a woman who was sexually assaulted and set afire in Kansas.

Read more: Police: Veteran beaten, burned by man he met at gay bar

A North Carolina man is accused of beating a veteran he met at a gay bar, police said.

The victim had most of both arms amputated after he was severely burned when the hotel room they were in caught fire, his longtime partner said.

Garry Joseph Gupton, 26, a Greensboro city employee, has been charged with aggravated assault with intent to kill in connection with the early Sunday attack. Police spokeswoman Susan Danielsen said there is no indication the incident was motivated by the sexuality of the victim, Stephen Patrick White, 46.

“We believe this was a consensual encounter between the two of them, and at some point Mr. Gupton began acting incredibly irrational,” Danielsen said.

And then there’s this:
Kansas woman critical after sex assault, set afire. But then there’s the police wanting to know why the woman was in the park. Same type of question: if it was a man, would it matter?

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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