HOMOPHOBIC IGNORANCE RESULTS IN MURDER OF 18 YEAR OLD BOY – Steven Simpson was an 18 year old gay young man with asperger’s syndrome. On the night of his 18th birthday he was attacked, covered in massage oil and set alight. Steven suffered 60% burns to his body and as a result died from his injuries.
The perpetrator, Jordan Sheard, took to humiliating Steven before setting him on fire by scrawling homophobic hate messages on Steven’s face, arms and stomach and then set light to Steven, starting at the genitals.
I consider myself an enlightened individual which can be attributed to my mother, who always taught me that all people are different and no one should be ridiculed regardless of these race, colour and especially their sexual preferences.
I am, and always will be, astounded as to why homophobia exists. I live in a country where Ladyboys are seen on a daily basis and where both gay and straight people congregate to enjoy each other’s company without judgement on personal sexual preferences.
Yes, I have on a number of occasions been approached by gay men at parties, and instead of taking offense I take their interest as a compliment to my good looks and charm. I have never experienced any hostility from a gay man when I have thanked him for his interest but informed him that I am heterosexual.
As a result of Steven’s murder, Jordan Sheard pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and sentenced to just three and half years. Sheard admitted to gate-crashing Steven’s 18th birthday party at his home and for humiliating him and scrawling obscene homophobic messages on his body.
“It was described as good-natured fun’ but in reality was ‘cruel behaviour’ to someone who was ‘vulnerable and an easy target.” Sarah Wright, prosecuting
It appeared from witness statements, that due to Steven’s mental condition that he found the whole thing amusing and obviously didn’t understand what was really happening – he though his friends where just being silly and having fun; unaware to the connotations of the messages being scrawled on his body.
It was reported, by the defence, that Sheard had been deeply affected by what happened and said that this was simply a prank that went horribly wrong.
In my view, homophobia is simply a condition of the uneducated and ignorant. Why, in this so-called age of enlightenment, can we not accept that people are sometimes different from ourselves; and in many ways, including our sexual preferences?
Steven should never have been subjected to this type of humiliation, let alone having is sexual preferences cost him his life.
With the on-going debates over the rights of gay marriages between our Government and the Church, the death Steven is another murder that the Church can chalk up to its on-going propaganda that homosexuality is evil.
It’s time, for Steven’s sake and the sake of all other gay people, that we put aside our ignorant views and let people live their lives that obviously makes them happy.