Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Hate Bashings by Young Attackers Alarm Citizens of Massachusetts

Police sketch of assailants in gay bashing on the campus of Bridgewater State University.

Bridgewater and Boston, Massachusetts – Two recent attacks–one against a gay man on a Boston Transit train, and the other against a university journalist for writing a gay-supportive column in the Bridgewater State University Comment–suggest that young females are now attacking gay and gay-friendly allies with greater frequency and boldness than in the recent past.  The Patriot Ledger reported that a student journalist was attacked who wrote a supportive article on same-sex marriage after the California federal court ruling on Prop 8.  Destinie Mogg-Barkalow, who wrote the article entitled “Prop 8 Generates More Hate” told campus police that she was confronted by a young man with close-cropped hair and a red-haired young woman in a campus parking lot Thursday evening, February 16 who asked her if she wrote the pro-gay piece.  When Mogg-Barkalow said “yes,” the woman struck her in the face, bruising her badly.  She stumbled back to the offices of the Comment where staffers called for help. Mogg-Barkalow, who is a lesbian, has described her assailants, and the investigation is ongoing.  The university police, president, and campus community have rallied in Mogg-Barkalow’s support.  Bridgewater is south of the Boston metro area.

Huffington Post reports this week that Boston Transit Police are investigating an assault on a gay man by at least three teenage women who shouted slurs at him for his race and sexual orientation.  The victim, who remains unnamed, had his face badly cut, and his nose bloodied.  His backpack was stolen along with its contents: an iPod and a digital camera. A passenger on the T who witnessed the attack, Priscilla Ballou, told WHDH Channel 7 News“[The victim] was on the receiving end of two kinds of violence: one, the physical violence against his body, and the other, the hate violence against his spirit.”  Metro Boston Transit Authority spokesman, Deputy Chief Joseph O’Connor, said, “Some statements were made relative to his sexual orientation and we have conferred with the district attorney and the attorney general who have advised us to pursue that avenue.”  An 18-year-old suspect from Dorchester has been questioned so far.  The attackers, when apprehended, will be charged with assault and battery, and unarmed robbery, as well as a hate crime.

Bay State citizens, especially LGBTQ people, are deeply concerned about what this means for the safety and security of queer folk in a supposed liberal bastion of the nation.  Conventional wisdom holds that young people are more tolerant of LGBTQ people, and that females are seldom involved in gay bashings.  In both instances, younger women are alleged to have carried out physical attacks against gays and lesbians.  Though the majority of violent attacks on gay, lesbian, and transgender people are carried out by young Caucasian men, the disturbing evidence of female anti-gay violence seems to be mounting.  As hate crimes like this begin to pile up around New England and the nation, the conventional wisdom will have to be reconsidered.

February 24, 2012 - Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, gay bashing, gay men, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Lesbian women, LGBTQ, Massachusetts, Slurs and epithets, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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