Eggings and Beatings: Is Gay Hate-Crime on the Rise in Long Beach?
9:39am | On July 25 I wrote of an egging at The Library coffeehouse, suggesting that circumstantial evidence pointed to its having been a gay-bashing. And even though I didn't claim there was definitive proof that it was so, several commenters seemed to flinch at considering the possibility.
Today — August 3, as I write this — someone egged my friend Asya's house, in front of which she flies a gay pride flag.
"I put this flag up during Gay Pride, and I had more than one person ask me if I was worried about something happening to my house because of it," Asya recalls. "'No, of course not,' I said. 'This is Long Beach!'"
I know, I know: this isn't proof it was a gay-bashing. Asya doesn't says it's proof, either. We can't know for sure.
But we do know that in the two weeks between the eggings, police say that on Broadway Ave. — the same street on which The Library is located — three separate incidents of violence against gay men took place.
Long Beach Police Sgt. Rico Fernandez was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying, "We don’t believe any of these three are connected in any way.”
But with due respect to the good sergeant and the rest of the LBPD, if (as the police indicate) there were anti-gay slurs used in all three attacks, I'd say there's at least one connection.
In response to my July 25 column, commenter Eagle Eye wrote: "Gee, another gay agenda piece by Greggory." And in one sense he's right on. I wrote that — and write this — because I do have a gay agenda: I want everyone who self-identifies as gay to enjoy all of the rights and freedoms I get simply because I happen to be heterosexual.
And I think talking openly about what is going on in our community, discussing all the possible ways in which homophobia may be rearing its ugly head, furthers that agenda.
To that end, a Unity Gathering will take place 6 p.m. Thursday, August 4, at Hot Java coffeehouse (corner of Broadway and Junipero Ave.). For more information on the gathering, click here.