And I’m not talking about your nose. As you can see in the video above, a transgendered woman was brutally beaten in a Baltimore McDonald’s several days ago. Chrissy Lee Polis, the young woman getting the beat down, went into the restaurant to use the bathroom. As she was walking out of it, two women confronted her, saying “That’s a dude, that’s a dude and she’s in the female bathroom” and spit in her face. Then, they proceeded to beat the living crap out of her. I’m not sure what’s worse, that she got beaten up or that several people stood around and watched, one even making a video of the incident. At the end, you can hear the cameraman, or one of his friends, say “She’s having a seizure (Polis is epileptic), she needs help right now!” but, he doesn’t put the camera down and help her himself. In fact, just a few minutes earlier, you can people laughing about the whole thing. It’s sickening.
This isn’t the first time someone’s been attacked and bystanders did nothing to help. The most famous case is that of Kitty Genovese. On March 30, 1964, at 3:30 AM, Genovese was just arriving home at her Kew Gardens (Queens, NY) apartment when she was attacked, raped and left for dead. This became national news after the New York Times published an article stating that 38 people watched the attack take place and did nothing about it. That report has been disputed over the years, but the bystander effect is real and what happened to Polis shows it. I wonder if things would have played out the same had Polis not been transgender. Would she have been attacked if she had been born a woman instead of man? Would people have stood by and watched all this happen if that was the case? I don’t think so.
Polis says this isn’t the first time she’s been assaulted, even raped, because of her sexual preference. She said she has to explain herself to people constantly, wherever she goes. No one, no matter how they choose to live their life, should have to live this way. One of the things that bothers me most about all this is that the church bears a lot of responsibility for the way LGBT people are treated. Ask people why they think homosexuality is wrong and, almost invariably, the answer will be that the Bible says it is. The only problem is, it’s not that cut-and-dried. For every scripture that can be said to condemn this way of life, there are multiple interpretations that offer a different view. I’m not willing to push anyone to the margins of society because of something written several thousand years ago that may or may not condemn it. Personally, I don’t think it does condemn homosexuality; but if it did, I’d have to stand up and say it was wrong. Jay Bakker once said, “If this gets in the way of loving people (holding up a Bible), I’ll throw it out. Because I don’t follow a book, I follow Jesus.” Words to live by.