Share your story for why Hate Crimes legislation is important to you at Stop the Hate.
I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC and went to school at USC in Los Angeles. I thought I was insulated from anti-gay thinking. All of my friends were immensely supportive when I came out and my social circle has always included a mixing of gay and straight people.
When my roommate Ryan came home one night in 2006 shaken up with a scratched face, I was confused and concerned. While walking down the street with his boyfriend and our straight-identified friend, Chris, a rowdy group of guys heckled at them from a porch. They threw a beer bottle and taunted them "Where you fags going?" Ryan told them to mind their own business and the three of them continued on their way. I'm told that the next thing Ryan knew he was pushed to the ground. Chris was sucker-punched in the face before Ryan's boyfriend was able to insert himself as a human shield in the shuffle. They managed to walk away and some level-headed party-goers called the guys back in to the party.
I realized that even in Los Angeles, I'm still not safe.
Six months later as I walked through downtown Kansas City with a few friends I noticed myself flinching away from boyfriend's hand as we approached other people. It took a very conscious effort on my part to keep hold of my boyfriend's hand. As we passed straight couples I knew they weren't thinking about their interactions. They didn't have to be brave to walk down the street hand-in-hand.
I wait for the day when society will understand and appreciate all of its members, but in the meantime, I am thankful for legislation that seeks to root out the community terror which bias-based crimes create.
A Brief Introduction
Endeavoring to define myself outside of a "job title." I'm a nomad of sorts who fell in love with technology, activism, and helping others. I run a web & media consulting firm, have a blog specifically for activists & non-profits, and travel often. I love talking about theology, politics, and social change. I love doing something about it even more. I also like to be a well-rounded and fully present person. That's why I write here. Connect with me on twitter