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Raurimu gunman was struggling with bisexuality

Fri 16 Jul 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Stephen Anderson is arrested after a manhunt following the 1997 shootings Raurimu massacre gunman Stephen Anderson says that in the lead-up to the 1997 attack his mental state was impaired partially because he was struggling to come to terms with his bisexuality against the negative influences of a strongly Christian family upbringing. Anderson, now 38, shot and killed six people including his father and wounded four others. In a feature story he has written for the current issue of North and South magazine Anderson says he he was facing "demons and insecurities about the person I was... notably my perception of my sexuality." He says he was smoking marijuana heavily and explains that "my understandings and insecurity around sexuality has simmered away for a long time. I did not have the emotional depth to understand the phenomenon of bisexuality." He says he remained closeted for fear of the effect coming out would have on his life. He describes his upbringing as privileged within a "clean Christian household" with his father being a church elder. "The messages I received during my life came from family members, the culture of my schooling and through some friends and associates. Homosexuality, it appeared, was a dirty, evil, vain, inferior, laughable lifestyle that confused people chose to live," Anderson writes, saying he "no longer chooses to see things in these terms." He does not reveal where he was educated or to which religion the family adhered. Later in the article Anderson returns to the matter, saying "I imagine many people go through the internal conflict of struggling with some aspect of their sexuality. It seems most people cope and get on with their lives, although people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are over-represented in drug use and mental health statistics..." Anderson says he had been facing mental illness for several years before his rampage and since then has been receiving treatment at a secure mental health facility. He says he now has good support and believes, now he has been released back in to the community, that he is no longer a threat. You can discuss this story with other readers in the glbt community Forum.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 16th July 2010 - 8:44pm

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