This is a devastating example of how homophobia still exists
It’s easy to look at how many rights and liberties the LGBTQ+ community has gained in recent years and marvel at how much things have changed. Now, thanks to grassroots movements, celebrity outreach, and the work of dedicated politicians, the world has become a safer place for those who identify as LGBTQ+. The sad truth is that there is still a long way to go despite the progress.
In America, the right to marry has been secured for same sex couples and there have been various movements and legislation put in place to keep members of the LGBTQ+ community safe from discrimination and harm. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that there are no traces of homophobia left in the United States. Hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people still occur on a daily basis, and LGBTQ+ youth have some of the highest rates of homelessness of all demographics as their parents often refuse to accept them.
For anyone who believes that homophobia is completely gone, this extreme hate crime serves as a wake-up call. In this horrifying incident, a Nevada man shot and killed his 14-year-old son simply because of his sexual orientation.
A Horrific Crime
Coming out is a significant part of the lives of many members of the LGBTQ+ community. For some, the revelation of their orientation is accepted and greeted with love and support. But in many cases, though, family members, friends, and loved ones have a very difficult time accepting the information thanks to their biases. In extreme cases, these reactions can lead to tragedy.
That’s what happened when this 14-year-old boy came out as gay to his father. According to local Nevada station KSNV, Giovanni Melton was killed by his own father, Wendell Melton, after they had an argument about Giovanni’s sexual orientation.
This event is difficult to swallow for anyone who cares about LGBTQ+ rights, and human rights at all. Giovanni’s former foster mother Sonia Jones said, “He hated the fact that his son was gay. I’m sure that inside of his mind, he would rather have a dead son than a gay son.”
It wasn’t the first time that Wendell had reacted violently to his son. According to the news station, he had held a gun to his son when he caught him with his boyfriend. But the second time it happened, it was fatal.
The police came in response to a call about a domestic disturbance. By the time they arrived, Giovanni’s condition was critical. He died from his injuries at St. Rose Dominican Hospital.
A “Beautiful Life”
It should go without saying that the untimely murder of such a young boy for such a hateful reason has left many devastated. A high school friend of Giovanni’s said that “he was young and had a lot to live for.” Giovanni’s former foster mother said that Giovanni was a “beautiful life” and that she loved him as if he were her own son.
The killer father was charged with open murder, child abuse, and prohibited person possessing a firearm. He may also be charged with committing a hate crime.
“I hope they throw the book at him,” Giovanni’s former foster mother told KSNV. “I hope he never sees the light of day. I hope every day when he looks in the mirror, he sees his son’s face.”
Read the local station’s full coverage of this crime here.
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