Oakland, California teenager Sasha Fleischman was the victim of a horrific hate crime last month when another teenager lit hir* skirt on fire as ou* rode home, asleep, on a city bus. The teen suffered second and third degree burns in the attack. Why was Sasha targeted? The teen identifies as agender rather than male or female and is an activist for agender Americans. Sasha has gathered 27,000 online signatures in hopes of capturing President Obama’s attention on the issue. Keep reading »
On Monday in New York City, thousands of people marched in honor of Mark Carson, a 32-year-old man who was shot to death this weekend for being gay. Protesters, which included the openly gay City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, shouted, “We’re here. We’re queer. Homophobia has got to go!”
Yet across town, hate crime violence persisted: more men were attacked in NYC because of their sexual orientation that same evening. Keep reading »
Manchester, home of the original goth Morrissey, is the first city to recognize alternative subcultures as motivation for hate crimes. Just last week the police force announced that it will now be illegal to harass or harm in any way goths, punks and emos. The police were inspired to protect these groups against hate crimes after 20-year-old goth girl Sophie Lancaster was attacked in a Manchester park in 2007 and died. Keep reading »
David Beltier and his boyfriend Jeremy have three poodles, Muffin, Beauty, and Princess, each with brightly colored fur dyed with Kool-Aid. Last week David and Jeremy were walking their pink poodle, Beauty, down the street of their Portland suburb when a SUV pulled up alongside them and the male driver started yelling anti-gay slurs. The man’s ire seemed to be sparked by the color of the couple’s poodle, which he called “Un-American” (yes, seriously).
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This month, the world went crazy. I don’t know if you noticed it where you live, but in my corner of the world—New York City—gay bashing and hate crime violence seemed to skyrocket. A few weeks ago, I was working at my newspaper job in the Bronx when we got a call about a body floating in the Harlem River. I didn’t know it then, but that body was a Rutgers University student who leaped to his death off the George Washington bridge after his classmate broadcast his gay hookup on the internet. Then, two men were arrested for attacking a gay man in the bathroom of the Stonewall Inn, one of my favorite gay bars and the birthplace of the gay rights movement. Keep reading »