Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Policemen are your friend [sic].

Well, maybe on another planet, but not here on earth. Not even in Sweden. Oh there are exceptions of course. There is, uh, my friend the policeman, who is a wonderful guy. And I had policeman for a boyfriend when I was 19 and in college in rural Illinois. He was a good guy, too, even if he drove me crazy.

What is so upsetting about this story - smalltown policemen catch two teenaged boys drinking in a car, accuse them of being fags, boys admit it's true (at least according to the police) and police threaten to tell their parents; police finally let them go and one of the boys goes home and kills himself - is that this is merely another example, albeit a bit extreme, of the routine betrayal of kids who happen to be gay. I give schools a lot of credit for stamping out all manner of racial slurs, but it upsets me to no end that most schools don't act the same way when kids use anti-gay pejoratives.

Language is all-powerful, and one thing I am proud of as a citizen of the U.S. is that Americans are awfully good at not only recognizing the power of words, but at balancing freedom of speech with the responsibility it calls for. If only schools recognized this more.

As for the police, well, I don't have much hope there.

The Swedish word for the day is grisar. It means pigs.

- by Francis S.

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