Thursday, March 26, 2009

What Would You Do?

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.


Salty said...

Thanks Dipstick for this report. People who abuse other people are cowards because they do it when they have the advantage. The gay college students were attacked when they were away from others who could have possibly helped them. The violent creeps waited until they were sure they had the advantage. The video clearly shows the second man as a coward because he spoke out after the first guy did. There are several different ways to go with this video idea. Hmm, interesting experiment, but not taken far enough.

A cross-dresser was beaten on a public street in Jamaica.

CityGirl said...

thank you for posting this video ... i love these kind of social experiments and it just goes to show that "going along with the crowd" can be very dangerous.

Anonymous said...

What happened in Seaside is a reminder that safety cannot be taken for granted. Do you know if there is a fund established to help the young man who doesn't have health insurance?

The ABC video is interesting. I've watched it twice. I suppose it's progress that "tolerance has become and American value," and perhaps so-called tolerance can lead to actual acceptance. Nevertheless, the word tolerance implies a gift, a favor on the part of others. From this video, it appears that it may not be okay to criticize gays in public (so long as they aren't "overly affectionate"), but it seems to be an implied thought-police - or behavior-police - method rather than actual tolerance/acceptance. Like the man who said he was "disgusted" changed his tune when he realized he was on camera. I'm not criticizing the experiment, or its outcome, but I do think it's a far cry from actual acceptance or genuine live-and-let-live attitudes. Tolerance may be a step in the process, but I sure hope it is not the final goal.

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