Blowback Against LGBT Rights in NYC

by Pham Binh on July 3, 2013

If there is no struggle, there is no progress and like struggle, progress is never linear.

The footage above was shot on June 30, the night of  lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) celebrations after the Supreme Court gutted Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act in New York City, a place that has been falsely portrayed by liberals as some sort of gay-friendly utopia. Sure it ain’t Texas, but the city has seen more than its fair share of anti-gay assaults in the past few years. The most horrendous incident in recent memory was where a man was beaten to death by three men with an aluminum baseball bat after they spotted him walking arm-in-arm with another man down a Brooklyn street. The other man was his brother and a jury initially ruled that this was not a hate crime.

The fight for LGBT rights has made a remarkable comeback since 2004 when Republicans put gay marriage bans on state ballots to bolster right-wing turnout for George W. Bush’s re-election campaign (the bans passed in all 11 states). But even with all the progress made over the past decade, homophobic violence against LGBTs and their supporters continues to be a huge problem, especially in communities of color.

The other bothersome thing about this incident on a Queens-bound subway car is the level of indifference displayed by most of the people on the train. Indifference will be the downfall of humanity — in Syria and any place where suffering and brutality elicit no response. Grown men sat by and pretended nothing was going on as two other men repeatedly assaulted this brave camerawoman for publicly documenting their hateful abuse directed at LGBT teenagers. Following the lead of the subway’s indifferent passengers, the New York Police Department downplayed what happened, claiming that it was not a case of assault but harassment and deferred responsibility for it to their Hate Crime Task Force, a joke of a unit if there ever was one.

On the plus side, Gawker, Gothamist, and the British Daily Mail picked up the story, and the video that had a few hundred hits 12 hours ago is getting closer to 100,000. However, it needs to reach Jamaica, Queens residents either through news outlets or social media if the two assailants (who presumably reside in Jamaica) are to be positively identified so they can be charged and prosecuted which is what the uploader of the video has explicitly asked for in the accompanying YouTube description.

“I uploaded the video to YouTube to see if anyone can identify these men. I was left with bruises and scratches from both assailants which I also documented. If anyone sees them or knows them personally, please contact the authorities. This was a hate crime.”

So spread the word far and wide and email any useful information to tips[at]gothamist.com
Please SHARE so these 2 men can be identified and found and charged for their violent behavior.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard Estes July 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm

we’ve had some violent attacks here in midtown in Sacramento, too

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Jason Schulman July 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Thank you for posting this, Binh.

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Ismael Diablada July 4, 2013 at 2:14 am

“especially in communities of color”: hmm, I’d like to see some research on that. It seems to me, just anecdotally, that although many of the targets in high-profile homophobic attacks in the last decade have been people of color (mostly gay men and transwomen), the attacks have tended to occur not in POC neighborhoods but in public spaces where LGBTs tend to hang out. (The most recent example being that of Mark Carson, a black gay man shot to death in New York’s West Village.) Useful, if uneven, likely incomplete, and disturbing, list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_violence_against_LGBT_people_in_the_United_States#2000.E2.80.932009

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Pham Binh July 5, 2013 at 10:50 am

Right, but were the perpetrators white or people of color in the NYC-area cases? Off of the top of my head, I think many/most of them were POC., perhaps even disproportionately so.

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Ismael Diablada July 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Shit, you know what? After some cursory Googling, it seems that many, if not most, of the suspects in the recent spate of homophobic violence in NYC are specifically Latinos.

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Blowback Against LGBT Rights in NYC

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