Dallas S. Drake
Minnesota Gay Homicide Study, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
The success and development of the modern gay and lesbian movement, which began in about 1969, has not been without substantial resistance by the dominant culture in the form of antigay violence. In this chapter, we will examine lethal violence, considered by many to be the most severe form of crime. Our consideration will include violence imposed clearly by external actors as in the form of hate crime. We will also expand to include a look at homicides resulting from the internalized effects of homophobia, such as GLBT offenders who kill GLBT victims.
Homicide is “causing the death of another, without legal justification or excuse” ( 1). Murder, a form of homicide, is the “intentional” taking of one life by another and is often considered the most severe form of crime ( 2). I have decided to explore deaths using the more inclusive term of homicide, as it allows capture of many of the incidents that do not neatly fit the pre-existing categories. Use of the term homicide is also intended to remove from consideration, at least temporarily for the sake of objectivity and analysis, the political and controversial issue of the offender's intent. The examination and evaluation of the issue of intent is an important, though premature, topic.
The killing of one human being by another is a tragedy regardless of the status of the victim. When GLBT people are killed, the effect of these deaths is