Sat
Dec 21 2013
07:23 am

KPD arrested nine men for exposing themselves as a pickup method in the bathrooms at Tyson Park. The bathrooms are in the same area as the children's playground and tennis courts.

How do we keep our parks family friendly?

46
like
Knoxoasis's picture

By doing what the cops did

By doing what the cops did there. Arrest them and keep arresting them. And if you really want to discourage it, publish their names.

jbr's picture

It seems like the heavier the

It seems like the heavier the park usage, the less likely that is to occur.

Public web cams in the parks might be useful. Like the cameras on Market Square. Safety and security, if picnic tables available, somethings broken, trash needs pickup, etc.

bizgrrl's picture

They have web cams in Market

They have web cams in Market Square?

jbr's picture

Knoxville web cams

I don't know all web cams in area, but here are a few …

Knoxville area web cams : City of Knoxville

Market Square - Knox Chamber

There are others.

Looks like they are snapshots and not video.

cafkia's picture

Create a new park in each

Create a new park in each area of town and name them "Casual Pickup Park". Have them patrolled by Gay private security personel. Promise no cameras and no arrests except for violence, vandalism, or littering. Then increase the penalties for such behavior in all the other parks.

(yep, I know how unlikely that is to happen but you asked "how?" and that is my answer.)

michael kaplan's picture

and the city could pay for it

and the city could pay for it by charging admission :)

jah's picture

Tyson Park is weird anyway

I have taken my 6 yr old & 3 yr old to Tyson Park several times this fall. I loved it when I was a kid and it had a huge wooden structure. Now it's got really nice modern equipment, but it's installed bizarrely - like maybe the installers were giants with giant children. The slides end high above the ground, and the kids need help just getting up on everything. And the monkey bars are so high that you feel the need to "spot" your kids so they don't fall and break something. Every time I've gone, the kids have had fun, but you see all of the parents running around trying to keep their kids from getting hurt.

On the upside, now I know always to take one of the girls with me when I have to use the restroom there.

mjw's picture

Floods

That park has been flooded repeatedly in the last couple of years. My guess is that the equipment wasn't originally so high off the ground, but that ground has been washed away.

jah's picture

Go check it out and see if

Go check it out and see if you still think this. Theory is nice when you are at your computer.

michael kaplan's picture

the weirdest thing IMO is

the weirdest thing IMO is having those highway ramps overhead generating noise and air pollution. at least there are some trees to absorb it all.

urbanexile's picture

If TN wasn't so insistently

If TN wasn't so insistently homophobic and anti-gay, men would not need to cruise anonymously in the parks. This is a tolerance issue, and everyone who hates on the gays is responsible for this behavior.

Many men who cruise parks do not identify as "gay," and are often married (think Ownsby and the shame heaped on him publicly after his arrest, and his eagerness to repeatedly say he was not gay). They are too disgusted with themselves and afraid of their neighbors reactions if they identify as gay. There is nothing Christian about this intentional stigmatization of sexual behavior.

fischbobber's picture

Wrong

This is not an anti-gay issue, it's a public decency issue. You do no one any favors by attempting to delineate those parameters. There is no excuse for exposing children to active sexual behavior of any sort. That includes heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, bestiality, or anything else anyone wants to throw out as not being tolerated. It shouldn't be tolerated at Tyson Park by anybody. These folks should go to jail and have their names in the paper and serve a supervised probationary period, at the very least.

schull's picture

Why do you have to throw in

Why do you have to throw in bestiality? Is it because you just wanted to include all the ways people can have sex? I only ask because I'm kind of sick and tired of people comparing my being gay to someone who has sex with animals. And yes, you did include straight and bi people, so I'm sure you feel that makes it okay, but alas, no.

redmondkr's picture

I think that, even many of

I think that, even many of our so-called tolerant friends here at KV, tolerate us but don't really accept us as their equals. Why else would it come as such a surprise to them that we spent years unable to display the photo of a loved one on a desk the way everybody else in the office does?

And, as to having plenty of venues in town for meeting other gay people, those venues tend to identify people who are often desperately closeted.

I remember being at the Sleazy C (Carousel II) with a friend one night when his cousin walked in and he was ready to hide under the table ...until I told him that the only way she could out him would be to admit that she was there with another woman.

fischbobber's picture

The comparison

It wasn't a comparison. It was a continuation of various forms of sexual outlet. It was a writing technique designed to show a broad range in order to establish that anything within that broad range was unacceptable behavior. Did you miss the part about heterosexual activity? What part of ,"I don't care who or what you are, get a room!" don't you understand?

schull's picture

I'm pretty sure I covered

I'm pretty sure I covered your argument in my comment.

I do see your point, if a bit begrudgingly. My problem, the thing that bugs me, is seeing, not a comparison, but the linking of beast sex and being gay. . . again. I think we get that enough, and it usually is a comparison. We are the next rung on the ladder into eternal damnation between being a harlot and indecencies with dogs, according to some people.

And another thing, I can empathize with these guys that got arrested. I don't know them or their stories. I don't know who or where they are in their lives, but I can imagine. I know what the closet can do. I want to imagine them as perverts who got busted, but I can't help but think they might just as likely be so lonely.

Smoake Jones's picture

I'd not lay the blame on the Tennessee Christians

Deviant sexual behavior need not be tolerated in public places, particularly where children are playing or are expected to play. We can have a basic level of decency in the community without laying the blame on other groups of individuals.

There are an abundance of alternative livestyle venues and networks in the Knoxville community and a very tolerant community for gay, lesbian, bisexual lifestyles, but for deviant and instant/desperate sexual activity, I'd look at the individuals not necessarily the crowd that goes to church on Sundays.

metulj's picture

What is deviant here?

What is deviant here?

michael kaplan's picture

it's an undercover police

it's an undercover police officer posing as a typical greenway user

wonder what a 'typical greenway user' is.

maybe it was an undercover police officer posing as a gay person looking for a date. would that make a difference?

Rachel's picture

Here's my deal: overt sexual

Here's my deal: overt sexual behavior of any kind doesn't belong in public parks.

redmondkr's picture

Here's my deal: overt sexual

Here's my deal: overt sexual behavior of any kind doesn't belong in public parks.

I agree but, for most in this town, walking and holding hands in the park is considered cute for straight couples and inappropriate (to put it mildly) for gay couples?

fischbobber's picture

Holding hands

I think that, even many of our so-called tolerant friends here at KV, tolerate us but don't really accept us as their equals.

Come on Kenny. Do you honestly think that the simple explanation, "It's O.K. to hold hands with a friend" equates with the, "Well , when a man gets sexually aroused yada yada yada" explanation required for the behavior in question?

If we're going to view things as the straights versus the gays then we're going to have to look for grounds to compromise. If we're going to view things as all men are brothers, then we're going to have to come to terms with common denominators of acceptable behavior.

Otherwise, we should just decide to bitch, piss, whine and moan at each other. We may as well pretend we're at work.

redmondkr's picture

Come on Kenny. Do you

Come on Kenny. Do you honestly think that the simple explanation, "It's O.K. to hold hands with a friend" equates with the, "Well , when a man gets sexually aroused yada yada yada" explanation required for the behavior in question?

No, as I plainly said when I agreed with Rachel on what behavior is inappropriate in a park.

We do, however, have enough people to elect a Stacey X that consider hand holding a 'gateway behavior'.

fischbobber's picture

Satan X

You've got me there. I have and will continue to do what I can to make sure Beelzebub does not get re-elected. There is no excuse for his behavior. It shames me to know he is my representative, more for his abusive stances towards children than anything, but for his abusive stances towards humans in general I also hold him accountable.

Rachel's picture

I don't know about for the

I don't know about for the most part, but I'm fine with folks of either genders holding hands - or engaging in kissing and other affectionate behaviors - with folks of either gender.

Just hold the heavy duty stuff for a private setting.

michael kaplan's picture

What is entrapment?

(link...)

Entrapment is a legal defense used by criminal defense attorneys to prove that an otherwise innocent defendant was wrongfully induced into committing an illegal act by the improper solicitations of a law enforcment officer.

bizgrrl's picture

Hey, it's about having family

Hey, it's about having family friendly parks. In general, I think activities at a public park should be appropriate for children. A few of the activities, but not limited to, I don't want to see at public parks are prostitution, drug dealing, drug use, and men or women exposing themselves.

urbanexile's picture

I have no problem with having

I have no problem with having "family" areas in town. And I understand that people don't want men cruising on family turf.

But if you want to end this, then start actively working against the hate in Knoxville against gay people. Comments that always slide from homo to beast are a perfect example of the issue.

And while everyone is so eager to judge, I want to ask why no one complains about the many strip joints located all over town, the amount of heterosexual domestic abuse, and all the bars that we pretend have no effect on our children. It's only the gay stuff? Such a small percent of what goes on in K-ville, but such a big percent of what people complain about. So gay obsessed....for such a non-gay place..............

michael kaplan's picture

I'm not sure I understand

I'm not sure I understand this. Men regularly 'expose themselves' at urinals in public toilets. There was no sexual activity. What is going on?

redmondkr's picture

I wondered that myself. I

I wondered that myself. I haven't read the paywalled article, just the stories on the TV news sites, but I wondered if there could be some entrapment in response to complaints.

michael kaplan's picture

I'm hoping these nine guys

I'm hoping these nine guys have good attorneys, and that the organized gay community - if there is one - ensures that the entire incident is properly investigated.

redmondkr's picture

I just finished the book, Let

I just finished the book, Let the Faggots Burn: The Upstairs Lounge Fire by Johnny Townsend, so named because of a comment made by a New Orleans firefighter at the scene of the 1973 blaze that killed 32 people in the French Quarter. The arsonist was never prosecuted but committed suicide close to a year later.

There was a (straight) lady living in an apartment across the street from the fire and, when she heard the screams for help, she ran to do what she could for them. She was horribly burned but survived. When the newspapers published the names of those recognizable bodies and the survivors, she was listed. Her employer promptly fired her, she had no insurance, and she faced months of painful rehab. The gay community stepped in and provided funds to pay for her medical bills.

Many families refused to take the remains of their relatives and many funeral parlors refused to bury the victims. The local churches had a propaganda field day. One room at the Upstairs Lounge had been used as the first meeting place in New Orleans for the fledgling Metropolitan Community Church because no local church would rent them a space.

We've come a long way since 1973, but we still have a way to go. That's one of the reasons I can pull out a soap box in a heartbeat about this subject and I apologize for that.

michael kaplan's picture

related news - from 2006

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