V is for Violence that Caused Us Such Pain

(Title homage to Edward Gorey and his “Gashlycrumb Tinies“)

Before reading this post, you should first read this news article on “therapy” pursued in the 1970’s at UCLA to “help” make boys who were too “feminine” more “masculine”.

This is a very hard article for me to read. The timing of it is interesting because I have recently been working through a bunch of stuff related to gender issues and my upbringing. Specifically, growing up, I was a boy with “feminine” traits and was subjected to ridicule for that by my peers and even by adults in my family. While I wasn’t subjected to a level of physical and emotional brutality and abuse like those Kirk Andrew Murphy was, I recognize his story. Our stories are different by degree not kind. That history is one of the things I repudiate.

If you open yourself for a moment, though, and take in the fullness of the story with true compassion, the scope of the violence and brutality is staggering. Kirk Andrew Murphy a victim of horrific violence inflicted on him by others and then, later, by himself. But he’s not the only victim. If indeed,  his tormentor George A. Rekers is gay, then he too is a victim of whatever it was that turned him against himself and, in the doing, against others. The axiom that those abused often become abusers themselves is material here.

Taking in the fullness of the violence that is present in this story is staggering, mind-numbing.

In a way, I don’t feel quite so alone in my own experiences. But in a way, I’m sorry to have company.