Conceptualizing Anti-Gay Violence
AbstractAnti-gay violence is here viewed as being the result of immature males fulfilling sexual status needs. Through such violence they reaffirm their commitment to heterosexuality in a way visible to their peers. Anti-gay offenders are divided into activists, who seek out homosexual victims; opportunists, who victimize gays and lesbians as occasions arise; and a much larger number who abandon any helping-citizen role when faced with such violence by others. Activists resort to gay-defined places to find victims; opportunists use other cues to identify victims. Chief among the cues used by offenders are behaviors and deportments that depart from traditional gender roles. Visibility of the victim as homosexual plays a dominant role in distinguishing gays or lesbians who have been assaulted from those who have not.