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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Sharing a Personal Experience with Racism

    Let me share a story with you. I posted it to my Facebook page earlier today.

    I had someone in my life once, his name was Stephen Dempsey. He was a gorgeous, tall, funny guy - a happy soul who became a landscape gardener and would never hurt a fly. We were best of friends and roommates.

    Stephen and I were out one night, walking down a main street in Sydney, full of nightclubs, clubbers and people just having fun. Stephen was always dragging me out to clubs with him. Two guys were walking toward us. One of them (with a distinctly southern accent) called me the n word and kept walking. Stephen stopped and froze for about 10 seconds. Then he turned around, ran after them and asked them to say it again. They did. So he said "I'm gay, got something to say about me?" So they kept calling him the f word and saying the n word. It was loud. So by now, people were stopping and watching us. I was holding his hand trying to get him to get out of there. I don't know how long it took, seemed like ages but there were at least 50 people crowding Stephen and the two jerks were just staring at each other.

    Then I noticed that the crowd gathering around was made up of lots of different races of people. Black, White, Indian, Lebanese, gays, straights... What these fools hadn't realized is that they were on Oxford Street, the street that had the most gay bars and theme bars in the city. They had stumbled into a bad bad place for racists and intolerants... the crowd wouldn't let them leave but they tried. No one threw a punch they just got closer and closer and herded them down the street like pigs. A whole bunch of folks and poked at them until they broke free and ran away, a few big guys chased after them but I don't know what happened.

    Stephen said to me, and I will never forget what he said "That's how you handle people like that. Make them face themselves."

    In 1994, Stephen was brutally tortured and murdered by a psychopath in a hate crime. That left a hole in my heart and a burning anger in my soul. I honor his memory every day and think of what he said whenever I see racism and intolerance. He is one of the reasons that drives me to do what I do and a person who has had a forever effect on my life.

    "Make them face themselves."



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  3. #2
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    Wonderful story of bravery.
    So sorry for the loss of such a special person.
    I wish he could have seen how much more accepting of gays some parts of the world has become.

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  5. #3
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    I agree Frau - 20 years ago things were a LOT different. His murder was major news at the time because of the nature of the crime but there was a lot more of it going on than what was reported in the media.

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    My God Dee, how terrible!!!!! I'm so sorry for your loss and for his family.

    Thanks for sharing his story of bravery and dignity.
    ~Love the hair you have~

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    Quote Originally Posted by MommieDearest View Post
    My God Dee, how terrible!!!!! I'm so sorry for your loss and for his family. Thanks for sharing his story of bravery and dignity.
    Thank you. It was one of the worst times in my life. Kind of like my baptism of fire on injustice and hate. My life changed after that. I had not shared it until now because it is so raw but 20 years has passed and I still remember it all.

    Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner
    "The truth is, your natural hair, in all its texture, is the hair that is ideal for YOU.."
    ~Dee~


  8. #6
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    Wow! "Make them face themselves." Wow! Thank you for sharing.
    My album

    password: gemela

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  10. #7
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    Sorry for your loss. People can be so hateful and so full of evil in them.
    Yes, "Make them face themselves"
    Uzuri - May 2006 NoTM
    Joined NP on 2003
    last chemical fire cream-April -May 2002, Cut off all relaxed hair-Nov 2nd 2003
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  12. #8
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    Sorry for your loss. People can be so hateful and so full of evil in them.
    Yes, "Make them face themselves"
    Uzuri - May 2006 NoTM
    Joined NP on 2003
    last chemical fire cream-April -May 2002, Cut off all relaxed hair-Nov 2nd 2003
    Locīd Dec 11, 2011, redid some on Jan 1st, 2012

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  14. #9
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    At the time I didn't realize how much that one incident would stand out later on. After Stephen's death (and the horror surrounding the circumstances) it made it so much more difficult to accept what had happened. He wasn't perfect - he was a human being with all the failings that come with it but the hate... sheer hate that was behind his murder angered me so much. Even during the trial of his murderer they tried to blame the victim, as if it was less of a crime just because he was gay and it was his fault. I will never forget my buddy. To this day when I see intolerance, hatefulness, racism, discrimination... I feel that fire burning up inside me which I can barely control (sometimes I can't) and I know much of this is because of that experience.

    I remember one incident where I let it boil over - at a party (I was hosting) where a guest made an offensive *remark* about Aboriginal people. I didn't hold back. I bet he has never forgotten it and neither did anyone else within earshot.

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    What kind of sentence did the killers get? Are they still in jail? Itīs because of these kind of crimes, where the people are obviously guilty, that I support the death penalty. In this kind of situation, it should be a life for a life. These kind of monsters donīt deserve to live. Itīs simply a waste of space, and a waste of taxpayers money...
    Uzuri - May 2006 NoTM
    Joined NP on 2003
    last chemical fire cream-April -May 2002, Cut off all relaxed hair-Nov 2nd 2003
    Locīd Dec 11, 2011, redid some on Jan 1st, 2012

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