A friend of mine and his partner were attacked outside of a BART entrance in San Francisco. The guy who attacked them got in a few good slugs; my friend received a black eye and had some bleeding; his partner was nearly kicked down the flight of stairs. His backpack took the brunt of the attack. They filed a police report, not that it will do any good, but they think it was a random hate thing so they wanted to report it. They think the guy was "on something." I've been reassured that they were not seriously hurt and are feeling okay.
This news disturbed me greatly. Obviously because I'm concerned for my friends' welfare. I hated thinking that they were hurting. I'm glad they were together; two against one are better odds.
This also disturbed me because it happened during the afternoon (sun shining) at one of the central stations. When I'm up in the Bay area it's a station I tend to use a lot at night. What's worse is it happened in San Francisco! It's apparent I live in a bubble or alternate-reality because I would think one of the last places a hate crime against two gay men would occur would be SF. Especially so close to South of Market. I know there are homophobes everywhere. I'm not quite that "head-in-the-sand." But I am surprised. And dismayed.
I've been thinking about this all week and decided to blog about it although it's not my story to tell. I'm blogging about it because I think we need to share such stories. In the early days of the AIDS crisis (which many of you know continues today), the group ACT UP had the slogan SILENCE = DEATH. And that slogan is still as important today as it was then for ALL of our issues.
We need to be aware. It's one thing to watch the organized hate groups (NOM, Tea Baggers, Focus on the Family, the various religious denominations) spout their hatred. It's another to have these loose cannons walking about who randomly attack innocent people, especially those we love.
Maybe I'm being all Chicken Little; but I ask that each and every one of you to be careful. It doesn't matter: gay, straight, male, female, a person of color, twink, bear...whomever you are...someone out there may decide that you are not what they like and you need to be taught a lesson. It's scary to think that in this day and age of "enlightened" thinkers there are bigots, but the truth is they exist.
So please...be careful.