Experience: I was beaten up for 'looking gay' in Vancouver and now I'm taking a stand

Sep 22 2017, 5:48 am

This post was written for Daily Hive by a guest author who chose to remain anonymous.

It’s interesting how the moment you think you’re in good hands, that’s when you realize you aren’t. Or the moment you trust someone, that’s when you find out you don’t.

I would like to share an experience I recently went through, right here in our city, the city of Vancouver.

It was a Monday evening and I had spent a lovely time with my friend having dinner and drinks at my home, when we were invited to go to Granville Street.

Many of our mutual friends were partying and having a good time down there. We obliged and made our way to the Granville Strip.

That will be my last time there.

After dancing and having fun with our friends, I decided to go home. After saying goodbye to everyone, I began to made my way home alone.

That’s when two men saw me and started to attack me.

Amidst the beating, they were murmuring gay slurs such as, “faggot” and “fag.” After brutally pushing me down several times, they stopped.

I continued my walk home. Luckily I could still walk.

Though I wasn’t majorly injured, I was covered in bruises and cuts, and found myself with holes in my jeans, from being pushed down on the ground, and a very badly bruised elbow.

‘Wake up and be aware’

I am lucky that I wasn’t more injured, but now, having survived this experience, I express my deepest sorrows to those who have to deal with this daily.

And I’m taking a stand and trying to raise awareness that we are not at an equal level of LGBTQ acceptance yet. Here in Vancouver, we are still experiencing public displays of racism and homophobia.

No wonder we have a gay village, and other areas where minorities can live together –we need the strength from each other.

Let us not be ignorant enough to think, “It is 2017, no one will care about the colour of my skin or my sexual orientation.” This is false and we need to be aware that it is.

There is still so much oppression happening right before our eyes, but do we even see or acknowledge it, if we are not directly or indirectly affected?

Wake up and be aware, and don’t be the one to verbally or physically attack.

And I urge you to not sit there and say nothing when someone speaks ill of another person’s way to love, or live. As long as they’re not hurting you or anyone else, it’s no right of yours or anyone else’s to judge or attack.

‘We are not safe’

Let it be known, that we are not safe. We will never be safe, until this world can swallow some pride and learn how to accept and love others around them that break the bonds of “normality”.

Until that moment, you certainly won’t be seeing me on Granville Street.

To all those out there that are oppressed for their sexuality or any kind of difference you may have, please embrace it! Love it more than anyone else does. Live it better than anyone has before, and remember you most certainly are not alone.

I was not the first person to be attacked for “looking gay,” and I know I won’t be the last.

But I can at least try to remove the cloak of ignorance, to reveal that it happens, and it needs to stop.

My motto is and will be, “I am just a normal person trying to live a normal life.” Oh and “put on a lash, do a number!”

I love my life and I love my way of life, and no big bully can take that away from me, or you!

Where to go for help

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this opinion piece, there are places you can find help in Vancouver.

Qmunity is BC’s leading queer resource centre, and aims to provide a safer space for LGBTQ/2S people. It offers a range of services, including free counselling.

Contact Qmunity:

If you are attacked, and want to contact the police, you can call 9-1-1 at the scene, or if you report the attack at a later date, you can call VPD on (604) 717-3321.

If you need a place to feel safe while you call the police, the VPD has a Safe Place Program. Local businesses that will welcome you are marked with a rainbow shield.

You can also message the VPD’s LGBTQ+ liaison officer Constable Dale Quiring on Twitter. He’s at @dale2075.

If you have an experience you’d like to share with Daily Hive readers, get in touch by emailing [email protected], with subject line: My Experience.

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