January 21, 2011

Valentine's postcards for straight, gay and lesbian people (and gifts, too!)



I am just fed up with nonsense comments on Carlos Castro death. The story has the right amount of ingredients to make the big headlines: gay men, murder, luxury environments and sadness. Police found the beaten and castrated naked body of a 65-year-old man in luxury suite at the Intercontinental Hotel in Times Square, maybe on the first week of this month. He was laying face-up in a pool of blood inside his 34th-floor room. He was killed by 20-year-old companion, model Renato Seabra, who confessed. Renato had been visiting New York with Castro. He was taken into police custody and admitted to Bellevue Hospital Center for a psychiatric evaluation. Castro had covered fashion and celebrities and was a well-known gay rights advocate. Seabra had recently been a finalist on a Portuguese reality show, “Face Model of the Year.” The details of Carlos Castro’s murder are shocking and gruesome. His burial was kind of pathetic and I honestly pity the man’s fortune. He had stated in his biography that he wanted his ashes to be scattered in Manhattan as he loved the city very much- New York was the city of his life, he said. So his sisters kneeled down and poured the ashes of their brother into the grate at W. 44th St. and Broadway as onlookers walked by. Gossip columnists are not into my favorite professionals. I do not read what they write. I disliked Castro very much not because he was gay but because what he did for a living. WTF! I do not care with whom he goes to bed. It was his personal life. Renato’s was a stranger to me. He was an aspiring model. Well, I do not dig models very much either! He must have a pretty screwed up sense of right and wrong. But humans can do the most impossible things! Now he’s facing a wasted life in an American jail. As a former lawyer I think that this is a dramatic case that should be properly investigated by the authorities. Renato does not have enough money to get a proper defense and his mom is selling the house to pay for it. This woman must be living the most terrible days in her life. She is another victim. But he must face the consequences of his actions. Was he in love with Castro or just trying to profit on his social connections and wealth or both? Were they in a kind of honey moon? That is not of much importance to me. I just think that this is a very sad story.

It’s important that people realize that violent situations happen regardless of sexual orientation and that many times, the main target is women not men. Can you guess how many women are killed for year in Portugal by their mates, boyfriends, husbands or ex-husbands? 39 women were killed in 2010!
In Portuguese society there is a deep rooted homophobia feeling. I think that we saw it all over internet following the media treatment of the Carlos Castro murder case. I just read pretty awful comments everywhere especially if one doesn’t need to sign bellow in comment boxes of blogs, portals and online news sites.


Following these events I was influenced to create Valentine postcards and gifts for straight, gay and lesbian persons. As I read somewhere Love is Love. We may not understand it, we may not agree with it but we should respect it. Consider this: make a list of persons you admire. Probably you’ll find that some of them are gay or lesbian (or bisexual). Does it change anything in the way you are moved by with they do? 


My short list just to get you thinking: Cole Porter, Martina Navratilova, Jodie Foster, Stephen Fry, Alexander, The Great, Hans Christian Andersen, Freddy Mercury, Leonard Bernstein, Alec Guiness…See what I mean?

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