Mother Demands Justice For Lesbian Daughter, Adult Assailants Still Not Charged

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Last week, a 15-year-old lesbian was brutally beaten in Chicago. None of the adult assailants have been apprehended. Her mother is demanding answers.

According to NBC Chicago, Amari Graves was walking to a store near her home on Tuesday, July 21, when she was attacked by several adults, including a peer from her school. The group repeatedly kicked her and stomped on her, spraying her with mace and tearing off her clothes. Her finger was bitten so badly that it couldn’t be stitched.

Amari Graves stated that the assailants called her “dyke” and “stud” as they assaulted her.

“Stud,” incorrectly reported by some media as a “slur,” is a descriptor (most often used by Black lesbians and other lesbians of color). It denotes a ‘butch’ lesbian—A distinct refusal to conform to the rules of ‘gender’ (stereotypes, roles and expectations), imposed upon females. The use of “stud” in conjunction with the slur “dyke,” does indicate, however, that Amari Graves was in fact targeted for ‘non-conformity,’ in addition to her sexuality (in and of itself a form of non-conformity).

Amari’s mother, Catina Parks-Dorsey, is strongly advocating for her child. She feels the assailants should be charged with sexual assault and believes this was a hate crime. “[It’s] devastating to know you weren’t there to protect your child,” she told reporters. “Absolutely nothing was done,” she said. “No one was taken into custody—They told me I had to swear out my own warrant to have them arrested.” According to Parks-Dorsey, the mother of one of the assailants recorded the entire incident.

Catina Parks-Dorsey is right to push extra hard for justice. There are major biases to overcome where crimes against lesbians are concerned. That bias is multiplied with women of color, especially butch lesbians. The word “lesbian” itself is often strategically omitted by mainstream media (including ‘LGBTQ’ mainstream media), and potential hate crimes against lesbians are often downplayed or totally swept under the rug.

Non-conforming lesbians are routinely harassed for not meeting the standards of compulsory femininity—For refusing to comply with the regressive stereotypes that are demanded of the female sex. Butch lesbians exist in a hostile—‘but you’re really a man’—reality… A never-ending punchline that’s sanctioned and maintained by the male-dominated mainstream (including ‘LGBTQ’ mainstream). As a result, rage and intimidation are regularly flailed at lesbians who dare to challenge and claw their way out of the ‘pink box.’

Equating femininity with girlhood and womanhood is not only extremely sexist, it creates a real danger for young lesbians like Amari Graves.

Equating femininity with girlhood and womanhood is not only extremely sexist, it creates a real danger for young lesbians like Amari Graves. A danger that’s only been exacerbated in 2018—by everything from the mainstream media, which still stigmatizes and humiliates lesbians who won’t follow the ‘one-size-fits-all’ rules of ‘femininity,’ to major psychological associations, that are now directing medical facilities to create “LGBTQ” web pages instructing people to “ask” the “pronouns” of those who are “gender non-conforming.”

Asking a ‘butch’ child/woman their pronouns while not asking a ‘feminine’ child/woman theirs, is both sexist and homophobic—Yet advocating for the health and safety of young lesbians, like Amari Graves, has become nearly impossible since mainstream ‘lesbian’ publications and institutions are now predominantly lead and run by non-lesbians.

Hopefully, with the determination and support of her mother, the alleged assailants will be held accountable for the attack.

We need more Catina Parks-Dorseys—parents who are paying close attention, who refuse to be silent, who refuse to accept the sexist reality crafted and preserved by the hands of patriarchy. We need more mothers and fathers who refuse to accept a world that shames and intimidates young lesbians into believing that anything about them is wrong… shames them till they believe that being “‘incorrectly’ female”—as stand-up Hannah Gadsby recently put it is a punishable offense.

Catina Parks-Dorsey is still waiting and so are we. Chicago police say they’re investigating the specifics of the incident and will be presenting their findings to the state’s attorney’s office. There have been no updates, no charges, and Amari Graves still has to walk the streets in fear of the assailants, who are at still quite at large.


جوليا ديانا —JD Robertson is an award-winning author and journalist. You can find her at www.juliadianarobertson.com

JDR © CLM photography