Last Updated: July 21, References. This article was co-authored by Imad Jbara. There are 22 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 1,, times.
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. His account suggests that far from being a paradise, prison for gay men can be a living hell.
White men have more room to push sexual boundaries without being immediately being treated like they have a pathological problem. I began noticing this all the way back at my very white elementary school, when boys would roughhouse and grope each other on the playground while always making sure to punctuate their grabs with gay slurs that called the receiver of that grab a homosexual. As I got older, those grabs evolved. And over time — especially once I got to my very white college — the grabs from straight men became caressing or kissing or, for the bold, sex.
Download and Share This Infographic image icon. Source: CDC. But trends varied for different groups of gay and bisexual men.