A Tale of Two Stories

Detroit: "Andrew Anthos, 72, was violently attacked while riding a city bus in Detroit on February 13 and is now paralyzed from the neck down, reports WDIV in Detroit. His family says the attack was a hate crime and that he was beaten after another male passenger asked him if he was gay. Anthos was riding the bus back to his home at Detroit's Windsor Tower apartments. According to his niece Athena Fedenis, the male passenger followed Anthos off the bus and beat him with a pipe in front of his apartment."

Boulder: "Police are investigating an assault that happened early Wednesday morning as a possible hate crime. … Police say they received a call from a 21-year-old woman who said she had been assaulted. … She told investigators two men she met on Pearl Street Mall made sexual comments to her... She says she rejected their comments, indicating to them she is gay. "It was at that point, when she told them that she was gay and not interested in their advances, that the assault occurred," said [Boulder Police Commander Greg Testa]. That is when the woman says one of the men punched her and kicked her after she fell. … The victim was transported to Boulder Community Hospital with severe injuries to her face. … The victim is a student at Naropa University, a fine arts school that advocates peace and kindness." (Via.)

This shit doesn't happen in a void. Like the sexualization and objectification of women in the media being psychologically damaging to girls, the constant drumbeat of negative stereotypes and exploitative hatred issued by the GOP and social/religious conservative leaders is dangerous for members of the LGBT community. And the hatemongers' faux-naïveté at the reality that you can't continually put a target on someone's back but expect no one to shoot at it is growing really goddamned old. The hate-the-gays schtick isn't just infuriating and spiteful and wrong; it's irresponsible. There's a paralyzed 72-year-old man and a severely injured 21-year-old woman this week because someone, somewhere, communicated to their attackers the message that gays are not equal, transmitted fear and hatred and claimed they were moral and good.

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