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Teen Executed by Fellow Gang Members for Being Gay

A teen who was a member of the Family Swans (a subset of the Bloods gang) was killed by fellow gang members after they discovered he was gay, according to police in Baltimore:

Blood"A neighbor told police that Parrish left his parents' home with another young man and walked toward the woods. About a minute later, the witness and other neighbors heard someone yelling and pleading, 'Stop! Why are you doing this to me? I didn't do anything!' according to court documents...On the day before Parrish's death, several members of the gang met at his home, according to charging documents. There, Hollis and Flythe discussed finding what they believed to be 'gay' text messages on Parrish's cell phone. Angered by the messages and a photograph they found, they worried that their Bloods group would appear weak to others if word got out that they had a gay member, according to court records. 'As a result, they decided that Steven Parrish 'had to go,'' police wrote in charging documents. 'There was no date or time discussed for the killing, but it was made very clear to all those present that Parrish was going to be killed.' Flythe later told his fellow gang members that he and Hollis confronted Parrish, who did not deny that the messages were 'gay' in nature, according to court records. Flythe also told his associates that they stabbed and hit the victim before stomping on his neck, according to charging documents. A red bandanna was placed over Parrish's face and he was left in the woods."

Parrish was found to have bruises, over 50 superficial knife wounds, and a deep stab wound to the chest. Steven Hollis, 18, of Randallstown and Juan Flythe, 17, of West Baltimore have been charged with first degree murder and are being held without bail.

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  1. It's nice to know that senseless gang-related acts of violence aren't limited to innocent strangers and members of other gangs. They'll even go after one of their own.

    What charming nitwits. I'll be interested in seeing how much time they get. And I hope they discover prison that's "gay in nature."

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 19, 2008 3:59:43 PM

  2. Retarded animals.

    Posted by: Wes | Aug 19, 2008 4:04:26 PM

  3. Not to bring too much local news to you, but Baltimore's state's attorney is one of the most inept in the country. Have no faith in the legal system here.

    Posted by: TA | Aug 19, 2008 4:14:10 PM

  4. DAMN


    Paul R The mafia does the same. In fact Andy reported on such a case recently.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Aug 19, 2008 4:15:18 PM

  5. Another horrible lynching of a gay person. The only difference here is that the gay youth was part of the violent, destructive element that murdered him. Maybe he didn't have much of a choice in not being part of that element--in many places there is no choice unless you escape, or if you are openly gay...openly gay excuses you from "gang service", but you'll be treated like garbage every day until you escape the hell that characterizes some neighborhoods in this country.

    So many times here on Towleroad, during arguments/debates, so many of y'all have accused each other of being "self-hating"/"self-loathing". No, this kind of monstrous behavior among young males in our country is truly what being "self-loathing" is all about.

    To beat and stab someone to death who is pleading for his life...I guess he becomes a thing in their eyes, not a person. But, that aint nothin' knoew, is it? That's necessary for the lynching to be completed.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 19, 2008 4:15:42 PM

  6. I must update. the murder was in Baltimore County, not city. There is a chance justice will be served.

    Posted by: TA | Aug 19, 2008 4:16:45 PM

  7. It's as if it isn't safe to be in a gang any longer!

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 19, 2008 4:23:27 PM

  8. Horrible, but I think nothing but ill of gangs. May they get a severe sentence.

    Posted by: nikko | Aug 19, 2008 4:37:35 PM

  9. What, gang members are violent thugs who savagely kill without conscience?

    No way!

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Aug 19, 2008 4:52:36 PM

  10. @DERRICK,

    that's what's needed for the lynching to be fulfilling. but there is something in each of their souls that will haunt them, if they are something less than sociopaths: "i could have been a better human being."

    time and again, the reason for hate-crimes laws gets justified.

    Posted by: nic | Aug 19, 2008 4:59:52 PM

  11. Hope they rot in hell.

    Posted by: marc | Aug 19, 2008 5:53:58 PM

  12. Agreeing with you as usual, Derrick.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 19, 2008 6:05:28 PM

  13. Make no mistake, the right wing GOP has as much to do with the kind of gay bashing. When you make gays less than human what makes you think idiots who would join a gang would do so?

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Aug 19, 2008 6:20:45 PM

  14. This is the result of homophobia which is institutionalized in black gang culture. I'm not saying this prejudicially, I'm simply saying this factually. In a general sense, homophobia exists across racial lines, but it is highly pronounced in the black community. Simple fact.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 19, 2008 7:01:37 PM

  15. Rather than blaming the GOP for this murder, I should think we'd want to suggest that homophobia is AS BAD as gang violence. The same mindset that kills gay men in gangs exists outside of gangs.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 19, 2008 8:07:09 PM

  16. Actually, JASON, you are saying it prejudicially. The idea that blacks are somehow more homophobic, or the most homophobic, is really borne out of prejudice. Maybe it's an unconscious prejudice, but it is a prejudice nonetheless that seems to stem from a belief that blacks are less intelligent than other groups. If to be non-homophobic is to be "enlightened" then to be homophobic is to be the opposite.

    Personally, the only people I've ever met who were disowned by their families for being gay have been white or Asian. And blacks CERTAINLY neither own violence against gays nor legislation against them.

    And anyway how would an Aussie know much about the "black community"? Even if you have lived in the states I highly doubt YOU have much interaction with anyone in that community.

    Posted by: Nick | Aug 19, 2008 8:29:25 PM

  17. saw 'hair' at shakespeare in the park's delacorte theater last night and thought, these lyrics from the 'flesh failures/let thh sunshine in' are so apt:

    We starve-look
    At one another
    Short of breath
    Walking proudly in our winter coats
    Wearing smells from laboratories
    Facing a dying nation
    Of moving paper fantasy
    Listening for the new told lies
    With supreme visions of lonely tunes

    how many deaths before we say ENUFF?

    Posted by: bading | Aug 19, 2008 8:41:28 PM

  18. I can certainly see why Michael Phelps can't wait to get back there.

    Posted by: dezboy | Aug 19, 2008 8:49:35 PM

  19. Um, this gang is called "Family Swans" and only one of them is gay? Well, I hope the murderers like the butt lovin' they'll get in prison.

    Posted by: Jason | Aug 19, 2008 8:51:59 PM

  20. When people are born and raised in socio-economically violent situations, society pays them (or the situation which creates such inequalities) little mind until it "infringes" on an aspect of their lives. Sure, this kid was slaughtered because he was gay, but he could have been just as easily -- and viciously -- killed for stepping on someone's shoes. People who live under extreme duress live under a different code of rules, often counter-productive; but when little guidance or hope is given, rules are created to maintain a sense of order.

    The problem is that a person, a human, irrespective of race, class, or orientation, cannot truly respect life if their own life is not valued. The killers will get lighter sentences despite the homophobic intent of the murder, not because of orientation bias but because the murdered individual was also a gang member. At the other end of the spectrum, a 15 year old youth I once worked with will spend the bulk of his adult life behind bars because he stabbed a star pupil and football team captain for attempting to break up an altercation between him and another student (he survived the stabbing). The judge threw the book at the kid I worked with -- despite his extremely shaky upbringing with two parents in jail since his birth -- because he assessed a greater life value on the other child. It is extremely doubtful when he comes up for release at 45 or so that he will be a contributing member of society, but just as he knows his place in the feeding chain, it's all good!

    I won't even dignify the ridiculous statement that black culture is more homophobic than white culture, although I will state that aspects of black homophobia stems from white oppression (often sexualized for "staying effect") and systemic destruction of indigenous understanding of sexuality through western religious traditions. However, that discussion perhaps would force those to face the fact that they too can be both the oppressor and the oppressed at the same time...

    By the way, the ghetto is not the singular property of any one group -- it is a process by which dominant society controls a certain population through competitive degradation. Read Leon Uris' Mila 18 and you will see 21st century Baltimore in the the 20th century Warsaw. Be smarter than your preconceived, parochial notions and perhaps we just might make it through the 21st century much improved.

    Posted by: foochy | Aug 19, 2008 9:21:07 PM

  21. Homophobia is institutionalized within the black community to a greater extent than in the white community. Surveys have consistently shown that blacks are more opposed to gay marriage than whites. The lyrics of black rappers are consistently filled with hate-filled screeds against women and gays.

    I'm not saying that homophobia is uniquely black - far from it. But it is an ugly component of a community which should know better. When you've been oppressed and discriminated against for a long time - as blacks have been - you should know better.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 19, 2008 9:47:59 PM

  22. Jason,

    what evidence do you have to support your assertion that "homophobia is institutionalized within the black community to a greater extent than in the white community" other than your own bias?

    Do you have links to any of these "surveys" that say "blacks are more opposed to gay marriage than whites"? Or are you just guessing...going with a "feeling"?

    Posted by: (another) Jason | Aug 19, 2008 10:02:32 PM

  23. Jason, careful. Your (very definition of) prejudice is showing.

    Posted by: Andrew | Aug 19, 2008 10:05:36 PM

  24. >>The idea that blacks are somehow more homophobic, or the most homophobic, is really borne out of prejudice.

    Um, no, it's borne out of surveys showing that African-Americans, as a group, are significantly more likely than white Americans, do be opposed to gay rights and to think that homosexuality is immoral.

    YOu can do your own Google research but one place you might check is the Pew survey which surveys religious observance and beliefs in America and in one survey showed that African-Americans were only second to white evangelical Protestants in their opposition to same-sex marriage and belief that homosexuality is immoral.

    I agree with Jason and I have experienced it in my personal life - I have only ever been openly called "faggot" by Black people, never white people.

    Posted by: LightningLad | Aug 19, 2008 10:22:47 PM

  25. And let's not forget the black Jamaican exponents of "murder music" who glorify killing gay men and women. They basically celebrate it.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 19, 2008 10:31:18 PM

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