I’m not in Lewisville anymore. I’ve lived in New York City, traveled the world, and settled in San Francisco, another city of refuge, since then. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s been a hard lesson in the difference between the idea of a city and the reality of the city itself. The seven anti-gay attacks that have taken place this month in New York City are a disturbing, if clarifying, example. There have been 29 attacks so far this year compared with 14 at this point last year. The recent spate is baffling as much because of the lack of a clear explanation for the sudden frequency of attacks as it is because gay people are people assaulted, sometimes fatally, in the very neighborhoods we’re “supposed” to be safest in. Mark Carson was gunned down just a few blocks from the iconic Stonewall Inn.
I’m reluctant to call this a trend, as there are too many factors and, frankly, too much emotion involved to be sure. There are theories, of course, however inadequate: Crime tends to increase as the weather gets warmer. Perhaps we’re hearing about more crimes because LGBT folks are more empowered to report these attacks and draw attention to them. Maybe it has something to do with gentrification and neighborhoods “in transition” and conflict between new gay residents and reluctant “native” residents. We could go on and on, and likely will, because the news is terrifying and we want to understand why this is happening and what we can do about it."
“There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Safe’ City for Queer People,” By Saeed Jones, Buzzfeed. (via wertheyouth)