ABC 24/CW30 “Eyewitness News” ran a sensationalized story last night about “violent lesbian gangs”. What caught my attention was lead-in headlines about “gay gangs.” While the reporter gave a disclaimer at the end that they were not trying to stereotype the gay and lesbian community, the Sheriff Deputy (Beverly Cobb) came across as a homophobe, scaring parents with the claim that these violent lesbians are “sodomizing” and raping girls in public restrooms, and “recruiting” them. It was just like the story Fox 13 did a few years ago about “gay men” having public sex in Overton Park in front of children (with a rainbow flag in their video footage!). It would be nice if the local media would do some stories about REAL gays and lesbians for a change!
The printed story online is tame compared to the video they broadcasted, so check out the video link to see what they aired. While the online story deletes terms like ‘gay gang” and violent “lesbian gangs”, the broadcast on TV emphasized the “gay/lesbian” angle, despite their disclaimer.
I believe I:F has contacted them and may be following up on it.Girl Gangs Getting Violent
UPDATE: GLAAD has issues an Action Alert on WLMT/ABC24's
"Lesbian Gangs" Story
The story has been removed from the eyewitnessnews website, but here it is:
Girl Gangs Getting Violent
Last Update: Feb 28, 2007 10:37 PM
Posted By: Rebecca Medina
Gang Specialists tell Eyewitness News Everywhere G-T-O’s are raping and sodomizing young girls and they're doing some of this at school.
A Shelby County Gang Unit specialist says girl gang members are raping other young girls at local schools. Deputy Beverly Cobb has been with the Gang Unit for more than four years, she is POST certified by the state of Tennessee to train deputies on how to identify and handle gang members. Prior to coming to work with the Gang Unit she worked with the Memphis & Shelby County Criminal Court system.
She says the attacks are happening inside school bathrooms and stairwells. This isn’t news to two G-T-O members currently serving time for identity theft and robbery. Anissa and Karen strongly deny their organization is a gang. They say their organization came together more than a decade ago. It was to take in and support young women being shunned by their families for coming out of the closet. They say G-T-O used to be about love.
Cobb says those days are over and today's younger generation of G-T-O's are about anything but love. She says male gangs focus on making money. She says female gangs focus on power. And to G-T-O’s there is nothing more powerful than forcing young girls to have sex. Anissa and Karen don't deny that the new generation of G-T-O's is a violent one. They say it's causing big problems for a group of women who wanted nothing more than to go unnoticed. Cobb says this gang is bold and unlike any gang she's ever studied. She says its members want everyone to know they're here, and your daughters will have to deal with them whether you like it or not.
Members of the gay community notified us to tell us they had concerns about our story. Our investigation did not turn up widespread violence in schools due to this. However, gang specialists say the victims they have dealt with claim they've been sexually assaulted or harassed at the following schools.
1.Craigmont Middle School 2.Craigmont High School 3.Trezevant Vocational Technical School 4.South Side High School 5.Frayser High School 6.Hamilton High School 7.Kirby High School 8.Ridgeway High School 9.Germantown High School 10.Bolton High School
Gang specialists say they don't have hard statistics because those calling the gang unit are too embarrassed or afraid to report G-T-O members.
Labels: Anti-Gay Media