Funny story: years ago Carlos and I had gone to Disneyworld in Orlando — we had a fabulous time, you know — and, as we were leaving we walked out holding hands. A lesbian couple passed us by — lesbians are so competitive — and they, too, were holding hands.
From behind us we heard a voice:
“What is this? Gay Days?”
One of the lesbians turned around, looked at the redneck walking behind Carlos and me, and said:
“For us, every day is Gay Days.”
Not so funny story: last week three senior football players at Conestoga High School in suburban Philadelphia were of assaulting a freshman on what the team calls:
“No Gay Thursday.”
Yup, they have a “No Gays” day at the school, and so three seventeen-year-old meatheads held down a fourteen-year-old boy and assaulted him with a broom handle.
District Attorney Tom Hogan has charged the three rapists as juveniles with assault, conspiracy, unlawful restraint, and terroristic threats; Hogan isn’t charging them with sexual assault because “the law requires a motive of sexual gratification, which was not the case here.”
Um, rape is a sexual assault and the motive is rarely sexual gratification; it’s about power and punishing someone.
Hogan says the assault occurred after underclassmen, as part of “No Gay Thursday”, were told to strip to their underwear and clean the locker room; the fourteen-year-old stripped to his boxers, but then decided he wasn’t going to clean anything and so he was punished by being assaulted; Hogan adds that the reason for the assault appears to be that this 14-year-old boy was arrogant about being on the varsity team as a freshman and the other players didn’t like it.
Wait. So, this kid made the varsity team and the other players didn’t like it and so they raped him with a broom handle? Hazing is considered a crime in Pennsylvania but only in colleges, not in high schools.
In addition, the coach for the team, John Vogan, was immediately suspended from all duties once charges were announced.
"No Gay Thursdays" was a tradition started by the football team at least three or four years ago, in which behavior the team normally considered to be "gay" was considered "not gay" on Thursdays. So, older players would come up behind younger players and put their genitals atop the younger players' heads, among other sexually explicit or suggestive acts; in addition, there was a tradition of players “blessing each other" by hitting another player on the ass or back with an open hand leaving a five-fingered mark.
That seems to suggest that this tradition is well-known at the school, so I’m hoping that anyone involved in the athletics department is taken to task, and fired, if need be, as are any and all teachers and administrators who knew this was happening and looked the other way because … football … because boys will be boys … because gay.