I write this with a heavy heart and tears burning my eyes. One of the Fag Bug volunteers e-mailed me today to let me know about a hate crime, based on sexual orientation, that just happened here in Las Vegas. I’m going to paste in the e-mail below so you can see the words from the victim herself.
Before I do that, I want to say that this is exactly why an event like Fag Bug, a movement like Fag Bug, is inspiring, courageous and necessary. I hate that it is relevant or necessary. But when people ask me why I care so damn much about what happened to a lesbian in New York, I tell them that I can’t sit idly by and do nothing because I know that somewhere in my city the exact same thing is happening to someone else. I don’t care that I don’t know them. I don’t have to know them. I have to be outraged. In fact, I think it might be my civic duty to be outraged. It may be the most patriotic thing I can be in the face of fucked up hate, to stand up and shout, NO MORE!
If people like me, in our comfortable lives absent of most forms of oppression, don’t stand up then it’s like saying that these kinds of acts of hate are okay. And for someone to think for one moment that I think that misogyny, bigotry, racism, homophobia, xenophobia or any other form of hatred is okay — that’s not alright with me. It’s never going to be alright with me. And it takes the people like me, that represent the “majority” group, to stand together with those in the “minority” group to make a change. Men had to vote in order for women to get that right. White people had to vote in order for Black people to get that right. And the heterosexual world has to vote, with their hearts and minds, in order to turn back the tide of hate against the LGBT community.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
I’m glad that the community has rallied around Erin’s Fag Bug trip. I believe in the work that she is doing to open people’s hearts and minds. And I’m glad that with the help of tremendous volunteers, there will be a fun event here in Las Vegas for people to gather around Erin.
But we must not forget that there is a reason why Erin’s words have power. First she was a victim of a hate crime. And the reason why Erin’s story and journey are important is the sad realization that there are still people in our country who hate Erin, who hate lesbians, who hate those who are not like them. In a better world, a story like the Fag Bug would never exist.
So I’ll get off my soapbox for now and leave you with the words from this e-mail. The only thing I have changed is to remove her name because I don’t want to humiliate her any further and I have not been able to reach her to have permission to release her name.
I feel like ignoring people and being all by myself right now but I also know that I need to tell everyone what happened to me.
I was dropping a friend off at home after a long night of watching movies and making music with friends. We were in her drive-way talking. Her Step-Dad, whom I never met before, came out of the house asking her if she was OK and started asking if if I was that “fucking dyke.” He asked her if this was the lifestyle she chose and kept calling me a dyke, a bitch, and swearing at me in general. We tried to explain that I have a girlfriend, that we’re friends, and we were just talking. He kept yelling. I got in my car to leave and the driver side window was already down. He came over and punched me 3 times in my head with a closed fist and said, “You’re supposed to be tough.” My friend pulled him off me saying “You can’t lay a hand on her.” I was able to get away and call the police. I feel if she didn’t he was about to pull me out of my car and beat the bejesus out of me. This shit has seriously got to stop.