It appears that actor James Woods missed the memo about basic human decency. Homophobic comments and actions are reprehensible regardless of who they're directed at, but Woods' recent tweet took aim at a gender creative 10-year-old boy named C.J.
On July 9, Woods posted an image of C.J. with his parents at an LGBTQ Pride event. He accompanied it with the caption, "This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realises what you've done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage."
Woods managed to fit a whole lot of deplorable comments into 140 characters, but C.J.'s mum Lori Duron has responded and her comments are a must-read.
“The fact that it was so detailed, it’s really gross to me any time that adults talk about children that way,” Duron told People. “And the visual image that he evoked was troubling.”
“LGBTQ youth don’t hurt their parents, they hurt themselves,” she continued. “We’re trying to raise our son in way that he doesn’t fall into those behaviours. His tweet was so uninformed. LGBTQ youth do not kill other people, they kill themselves.”
If Woods had done his homework before posting such a cruel tweet, he'd know that suicide is the leading cause of death among LGBTQ youth. LGBTQ people are between two and six times more likely than heterosexuals to commit suicide, and nearly half of gay and lesbian teens report they've attempted suicide at least once.
Duron and her husband deserve praise for supporting their gender creative son rather than shaming him for how he chooses to express his identity. Duron, who runs a blog titled Raising My Rainbow, explained that "we’re trying to educate others about this and share our journey. We’re just parents trying to raise the child we got and not the child we expected."
Neil Patrick Harris, a friend of the family, also responded to Woods' tweet.
Unfortunately, Woods hasn't learned his lesson. He returned to Twitter to defend his comments and criticise the Duron family even more.
“Using one’s child as a social justice propaganda doll is tantamount to child abuse. This is not about homophobia. Nice try though,” he wrote. “For the record I have supported human rights of all stripes and persuasions, colours, creeds, choices and preferences my entire life. Period. Some children can be ruthlessly cruel to children who are simply different in any way. I humbly suggest making your child a target is unwise.”
For good measure, Woods added, “I spent my entire adult life in the New York theatre scene, kids. I have more gay friends than Liberace. So let’s stop the homophobia train.”
If Woods would like to stop the homophobia train, he could start by taking a close look at his own behaviour: It doesn't get much lower than attacking a child.