What was Baltimore OUTloud editor Jim Becker thinking when he published an editorial, State Power: A Friend We Should Do Without, lamenting the criminalization of adult sexual encounters with minor children? The unsigned editorial declared, emphasis ours:
“… Also back then, a teenaged boy having sex with a man – sometimes for money, sometime not – was, at least in some working-class communities, an accepted rite of passage and something to enjoy. Now experiences like this bring harsh penalties, with the youths being seen as abused and victimized. This is a new construct arising in part from the emasculation of boys and the victimization narrative that is the central justification for state intervention.
“… Certainly, in this current age where sex abuse is seen everywhere, where all sex between a teenager and an older person is labeled pejoratively as “pedophilia,” and where sex-offender registries, civil confinement and other so-called protection tools of the state proliferate, sexual liberation and sex affirming communities are on the run.
“… The new buzzwords are sex trafficking and campus sexual assaults, but it is the same anti-sex narrative that allows the coercive arm of the state to intrude with devastating consequences …”
We can hardly imagine a more dangerous sentiment to emerge from the gay community’s own media than this dismissal of the financially, psychologically, and emotionally coercive aspects of adults raping those too young to consent, minimizing the harm of sexual assault, or casually praising child sex trafficking.
Hateful people have been accusing members of the GLBT community of criminal behavior and intentions for as long as any of us have been alive. Where straight men have even been known to be acquitted of statutory rape by unfairly convincing the courts to blame their female victims, just a rumor of improper intentions towards children can still get a non-heterosexual person targeted for vigilante attacks.
This is not the road the gay community’s press should be leading us down. There’s nothing at the end but a cliff.
Stand with us today to insist that Baltimore OUTloud retract this article and apologize.
Petition may be signed here.