LETTER- <i>Hook</i> humiliated amorous old men
The Hook did a bad thing. Shame on the Hook for gratuitously publishing the pictures of two unfortunate senior citizens found allegedly having oral sex in a car in Staunton [November 13: "Wal-Mart tryst begets felony charges"], and for flamboyantly describing alleged facts of the arrest.
While the story is supposed to be about inequitable prosecution of Virginia's antique "sodomy" laws (questionably Constitutional since the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas, yet never repealed by Virginia), techniques of sensationalism are not appropriate to make this point.
Does the Hook call this piece journalism or story-telling? If story-telling, for what purpose?
Is the reader to be entertained by seeing the humiliation of these unfortunate seniors? If the purpose of the writing is to disclose inequitable application of Virginia law, why use sensationalism?
The Hook should explain its purpose and techniques in publishing this story. And it should disclose its policy for publishing alleged facts and for publishing pictures before trial.
The Hook and other local media should explore worthwhile stories rather than sensationalistic stories about LGBT people.
For example: Are there equitable and culturally competent social, educational, housing, recreation, and health services for gay and lesbian persons throughout the lifespan, including seniors living in rural areas? Do the Virginia Department on Aging, JABA, the Senior Center, have special programs for LGBT senior citizens?
Are there LGBT-culturally-competent mental health services, alcohol dependency, and other addiction treatment, including for sexual addictions, at Region Ten, UVA, and Martha Jefferson hospitals, and within the local League of Therapists?
Do any churches and congregations have LGBT-inclusive social ministries for LGBT seniors, youth, and families? What legal advocacy services exist in rural Virginia, or even urban Charlottesville, for LGBT people caught within Virginia's many homophobic and transphobic laws?