As a society, we equate masculinity with force, with violence, with aggression, with being “tough” and invulnerable. We celebrate it those things as virtues. To a widely-varying degree, we look with disdain, or pity, or condescension, or amusement at too much deviation from the prescribed norm. And we occasionally exact a terrible penalty for stepping outside those rigid parameters.
The beating death of 17-month-old Roy Jones was no less a hate crime because the victim was a baby. Whether would have grown up to be gay, or transgender, or just a gentle, sweet-natured straight boy, was still many years away. More, it was irrelevant.
The attack, and the apparent impulse behind it - that a violent man was made uncomfortable by a even a perceived variation on gender-normative behavior - is exactly what makes transgender and gender-variant Americans among the most vulnerable segment of the population, and children who even appear gender-variant are the most vulnerable of all.
…With few exceptions, monsters are made, not born. They are still monsters, but they are carved with the hurtful blows of many sharp chisels, over many years. At the very least, his own violent psychopathology notwithstanding, someone, somewhere, taught Pedro Jones that the worst thing a little boy can do is act like a girl. In the end, it matters precious little when or where he learned it, because a 17-month-old toddler ultimately paid a terrible price for that lesson.
Utterly and completely horrifying. The article raises a troubling issue: Who protects children who may not even be transgendered, gender-variant, GLBTQ, etc…? How can this happen in this century?