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Pink blood, queer-bashing in Canada

by Janoff, Douglas

Abstract (Summary)
Pink Blood: Queer-boshing in Canada critically analyzes the impact of violence on the gay, lesbian and ~sgendered communities by posing two main research questions: what is the prevalence of queer-bashing in Canada. and how can it be prevented? However. even the identity of the community being discussed is problematic; terms like queer and homosexual are fnught with controversy. Anecdotally. Canadian queers have reported high levels of victimization. but there is no agreement on the extent. Because of homosexuality's stigmatized status. victims are reluctant to acknowledge their own suffenng, and many assaults are disguised as other crimes. Data was gathered for this thesis by scouring media reports and case law for al1 references ta queer-bashing in Canada in the 1990s. and interviews were conducted with community activists. victims and criminal justice personnel. The data set yielded descriptions of over 300 queer- bashing and homicide incidents. In interpreting this data. the author reviews the theoretical litenture as well as official and unofficial reports. surveys. and other documents. Through processes of patho1ogi;arion. same-sex activity was labeled a perversion in the 19th century, enabling doctors. clencs. and lawmakers to regulate this behaviour throughout the 20th century in various ways. from legal exclusion to mass execution in Wortd Wu iI camps. Although queers have gained many Iegal rights in Western counuies. many killen who target homosexuals still face little or no jail time. Why this occun is the subject of fierce debate among queer legal scholan, who have successfully demonstrated a panoply of juridical practices that regulate, and sometirnes vilify. homosexuality in the courtroorn. WhiIe the first half of the thesis focuses on prevalence and characteristics of queer- bashing, the second half look at how policies and iegislation have had a direct impact on queer- bashing victims and the queer community at large. Issues include trauma, financial loss, Iegd remedies, cornplaints against the police and procedural problems that have emerged in the courtroom. Hate crime policies and statistics, which Vary wildly fiom one police depamnent to another, are cntically evaluated. Since the 1970s' rise of a modem gay and lesbian social rnovernent, many activist organizations have developed community initiatives to respond to queer-bashing acmss Canada, and these pro* are also examined in a critical light.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/2000

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