I remember it as clearly as if it happened yesterday. There was a woman in our town that had come out as straight, and she was quite open about it. Well, she and I struck up a friendship, even though she knew I was gay, and she would often stop by my house for a visit. One night, after a visit, she was giving me a ride in her car and, well, while it sickens me to say it, she made sexual advances towards me, and I panicked. She tried to assault me so I choked her, and then I beat her to death, and burned her body, then dragged to the side of a river, and dumped it there in the tall grass.
Thank god for the Straight Panic defense. I didn’t do any jail time.
Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? But that’s exactly what’s happening regarding the murder, and let’s be clear, it was a murder, of openly gay mayoral candidate, Marcus McMillian.
Lawrence Reed, the man who is accused of beating McMillian to death, burning his body, and then dumping alongside the Mississippi River says he did it because he Gay Panicked when McMillian made sexual advances towards him.
And, well, Reed may get away with murder, especially since the case is in the hands of Mississippi prosecutors, who cannot even try Reed for a Hate Crime because there is no hate crime statute in the state. And Reed’s defense of Gay Panic-slash-Self Defense, just may get him off.
|McMillian [l] and Reed [r]|
Reed and his family are telling the story that Lawrence Reed was “forced” to murder Marco McMillian in self-defense after the mayoral candidate made sexual advances and refused to take no for an answer. Reed’s sister is claiming that Reed showed up at her house moments after making a panicked phone call, covered in injuries suggestive of a fight, and that Reed strangled McMillian with the chain on his wallet because he panicked.
I’m not sure how panicked he was when, after murdering McMillian, he beat him, and burned him, and dumped his body like garbage. That doesn’t sound like someone who panicked, that sounds like someone who thought about what to do and how to do it.
But this whole Gay Panic thing isn’t a new defense, it’s been used before. The trial of the killers of transgendered Gwen Arujo ended in jury deadlock on multiple occasions because of a so-called “Trans Panic Defense.” And let’s not forget the murderers of Matthew Shepard who claimed they panicked when he came on to them and were forced to beat him nearly to death and then tie his body to a fence in Wyoming. Fifteen-year-old Lawrence King was murdered by a classmate for professing his love to the other boy.
Panic? Not so much.
This kind of defense makes it ‘okay’ to kill gay people, trans people, and get away with it. Just say the gay guy came on to you; just say the trans guy or girl made an unwanted advance. Then just say you had to kill them, because you had no other choice.
My story at the top of the is post was a great big fabrication, but Lawrence Reed wants us to believe that he panicked when Marco McMillian, a gay man, a friend of his with whom he had been socializing for a few weeks, made a pass at him and he had no choice but to strangle, beat, burn and dump his body.
That’s some panic.
And it’s all a lie.
More Gay Panic Tales from ISBL: