I n , when Calvin Burdine was awaiting sentencing for allegedly stabbing his gay lover to death, the prosecuting attorney encouraged the jury in his closing remarks to award Burdine the death penalty, rather than life in prison, on the grounds that sending a gay man to prison was akin to sending a kid to a candy store. After 17 minutes of deliberation, the jury obliged and sentenced Burdine to die. His death sentence was later overturned mostly because Burdine's public defender had slept through much of his trial , but the homophobic thinking — that prison is some kind of paradise for gay men — lingers on. The reality of life in prison for homosexuals and transgender individuals does not appear to reflect this myth. One young man named Rodney, imprisoned for fraud and check-forging, sent me a detailed account of his life so far in prison. He described a litany of brutal rapes, assaults, beatings and, eventually, the total abandonment of his male identity as his only means of survival in the hyper-masculine and often homophobic prison environment.
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He died from drugging and positional asphyxia during the ordeal. Despite his being at their home with approval from his parents, the defense argued he was complicit in the sexual acts, and therefore the death was accidental. Considering how he was a minor and the men were adults, this was considered unlikely. Further details revealed in the court case depicted a gruesome death. Dirkhising's death received only regional media coverage until a Washington Times article ran a story nearly a month after his death, noting the lack of national coverage in contrast to that given to the death of Matthew Shepard. The media coverage of the Dirkhising case was repeatedly and consistently contrasted with that of the high-profile Shepard case, although the cases were dissimilar in several important details. While both victims died as the result of assaults by two men, Dirkhising was a minor and the victim of a sex crime, while the adult Shepard was ostensibly murdered as part of a hate crime.
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The Frisky -- Let's face it -- we've all got issues and sometimes need multiple attempts to surmount emotional obstacles. But some of us are better at dealing with them than others and, we argue, women are often better at working through emotional problems than men. The Frisky: 30 things every woman should quit doing by
I 've been to many changing rooms in my long and ahem illustrious swimming life ; I hope I have seen the worst and suspect I'll never see the best. I've also swum where there were no changing rooms — it's the downside to "wild" swimming or upside when you consider the state of some of them. I've been around long enough to see "progress" that sometimes doesn't feel like that. And having once got changed out of a wetsuit in a minibus with nine other people I hardly knew after a swim in a glacial lake in freezing rain, you'd imagine I'd be loth to moan about basic facilities. You'd be wrong.