If the ever-increasing gay and lesbian visibility in the media or the expanding recognition of gay marriage has you thinking that it’s easy to be gay in contemporary America, actress Marta Cunningham’s 2013 HBO documentary on the death of Larry King, Valentine Road, might offer a shock.
In 2008, Brandon McInerney, 14, shot his classmate Lawrence King, 15. King was flamboyantly gay and it made some students—and some of their teachers—at Oxnard, California’s E.O. Green Junior High uncomfortable. Some of them even suggested that Larry deserved what he got.
The trial that followed the murder drew international attention from gay supporters mourning Larry’s murder and from child-welfare advocates concerned about trying a minor (and an abused one at that) as an adult. The defense’s arguments and the jurors’ hesitations served as a chilling reminder that many think that, no, it’s not ok to be different.