Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 2 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 (5 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   7 comments
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Resolution by lethal injection: The murder of first known anti-gay hate crime victim Anthony Milano

By       Message Janet Mason       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...)  Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   Interesting 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 5/11/12

Author 78908
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)
- Advertisement -

I am a lesbian who grew up in Levittown, PA, and moved to Philadelphia several years before gay artist Anthony Milano, 26, was brutally murdered in 1987. The case was the first known anti-gay hate crime murder trial in this country,   ten years before the murder of Matthew Shephard, the gay college student who was murdered near Laramie, Wyoming.  


Governor Corbett (PA) signed the death warrant for one of the murderers, Richard Laird, scheduled to die by lethal injection on May 12th.   A stay of execution has since been granted. Laird was convicted twice and given two death sentences. A second man was also convicted of the slashing murder but a federal judge set aside his death sentence.


- Advertisement -

I came out soon after leaving Levittown.   I still remember the look on my mother's face when she handed me the local newspaper article about Anthony's murder.   "Now I understand why you had to move away," she said.   Moving away was something I probably would have done regardless of my sexual orientation.   But I remained a dutiful daughter.   When my mother was diagnosed with fourth-stage cancer in 1995 I returned to help my father care for her.  


In Tea Leaves, my just-published memoir (Bella Books), I focus on my relationship with my mother (who had a wicked sense of humor) and not on growing up gay in the 1970s in Levittown.   But I do write about the fact that I was bullied.   In elementary school, I was the taller than everyone and I was a bookworm, an only child with no older brothers to defend me.   All made me fair game for "getting picked on" -- including getting beat up and pushed down the steep hill behind my elementary school by a pack of boys who were having some fun.

- Advertisement -


I didn't know Anthony personally -- but his murder had a profound effect on me.   Years later, I met a man who went to art school with Anthony and a friend's father who came to this country from Italy knew Anthony's father, also an Italian immigrant.


Vito Milano, now 83 and still working as a barber, was quoted in the local newspaper , saying that he has thought about the murder of his son every day and that he believes that both men deserve to die.

My philosophy of nonviolence had deepened over the years.   But I do hope that Anthony's father lives long enough to see the day when American justice is served.


- Advertisement -

Janet Mason is the author of Tea Leaves: a memoir of mother and daughters published by Bella Books.   She lives in Philadelphia and is a freelance writer.


- Advertisement -

Well Said 1   Interesting 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It


Janet Mason is the author of Tea Leaves, a memoir of mothers and daughters (Bella Books, 2012). Her LGBT commentary on queer life and literature is aired on This Way Out, an international radio syndicate based in Los Angeles. A frequent contributor (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Resolution by lethal injection: The murder of first known anti-gay hate crime victim Anthony Milano

My Husband's Not Gay? Low Chuckles and Hard Reality

Let's Pledge to Boycott the Boy Scouts

A Unitarian Universalist Message: Marriage Equality and Dignity

Gun Control Laws and Race And Class: Let's Talk About It

"Poetry Is Not A Luxury:" A UU Remembrance