Yesterday I learned of a gay-bashing on the Oregon Coast. It's Spring Break and lots of young people descend on the coastal town of Seaside to play and party. Two gay college students were hanging out at a bonfire on the beach with a group of other people on Saturday night. When they walked away from the fire, a group of 3-4 people followed them and beat them unconscious, taunting them with anti-gay slurs.
I've learned not to be shocked by this kind of behavior. But still, it affects me. It affects every GLBT person in America when this sort of thing happens. It's meant to. It's meant to scare us into hiding, to keep us from living our lives as full free citizens. Of course I won't go into hiding. Even if at times it's scary not to.
But when I heard about this story, I couldn't help but wonder about the other people who might have been around. Where were the other people at the bonfire when these boys were being attacked? Why did no one come to their defense? Were there just no people around, were their cries simply ignored, or were others afraid to come to their defense?
I saw this interesting video produced by an ABC station in Massachusetts. They set up two actors to go into a straight sports bar and act affectionate with one another. The outcome is somewhat, but not all together heartening. Take a look and leave comments.