I was saddened to hear a few weeks back that a man stabbed another man in Beacon Hill Park.  I was worried at first for our homeless family members who often sleep where its safe.  If you go to:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/beacon-hill-park-stabbing-suspect-sketch-released-1.2515906

you can see a sketch of the suspect.  The page quotes CBC:  “The Victoria Police Department says it is hoping people will come forward and help identify the suspect in an unprovoked stabbing two Saturdays ago in Beacon Hill Park.”, they go on:

“A 49-year-old man suffered serious injuries after being repeatedly stabbed by a stranger.

The attack happened at midnight in a section of the park that is known as a gay cruising area. However, police are making no such link in this attack.”

So, why did they mention that the attack happened “in a section of the park that is known as  gay cruising area.”  And they add:  “However, police are making no such link in this attack.”

Stop the press, why bother writing that unless you want to cause a stir?   If there is no known link in this case why say it then?  Were folks already jumping to conclusions?  Are gay men at risk of some man, possibly attacking gay men?  There are sadly many men who are homophobic due to a violent act of rape by another man upon them.  Men are often raped in jail and this can harm men and make them angry towards men who chose to love men.  Rape by men in jail is not homosexuality.  It is rape supported by the state.

IN this case I want to focus on  colonial based reactionary fear.  I was disheartened to read in a facebook thread on shelly gudgeons page, lots of homophobia that will have to be dealt with so, her I go.

I would love to see a solidarity rally in Beacon Hill Park, as someone who spent  most of my life as a lesbian, now bearded and still into women yet very much involved in community building, I also appreciate the fact that I often feel safer around that part of the park at night.  I unfortunately am not into gay sex, my desires lie with women and yet, I have no issue with the many men I know who are gay.  I am never offended when a man makes a pass at me, never have been and never will be.  As a matter of fact, I thot to kiss a man one time at a gay pride party, I never got the kiss but the guy was so so sweet and always is, it was a moment for me, it passed and I am who I am.  I like to live as someone who is out, open about my past.  I am an ally to gay men and always will be.

I am therefore hoping we do have a Solidarity Rally led by local gay men and their communities, family and many allies who love and support them.  I think the street family really needs it as well.  Any man who is homeless and gay in this town is in threat of his life every night, that is a fact.  I know of two gay men who are homeless that are completely closeted and fear being outed, so I never ever will do that.  And, it breaks my heart that gay men must live in such fear.  Breaks my heart.  I have had many a man assume I was gay who went toe to toe with me, shot looks of hate at me, and it was the women who stood up and outed me, for my protection really.  Tough street women who help resolve these conflicts all the time, sadly and  heartbreakingly we lost far too many of them to the streets these past few years.  Yet two of them stick out in  my mind and that is Tami Turner and Silly, may they both rest in peace. These two women’s stories will never be forgotten in my mind.

I digress, please forgive me. respect.  Here is more from the article:

“The lead detective in the case will only say the victim is a frequent park user who sometimes stays in the park, but did not confirm whether the victim is a homeless man.”

I once again worry that this may be a homeless involved family member, I hope we get news soon.  To continue with article:

“A Victoria city councillor says she’d like to see the area fenced off and allowed to naturally restore itself.  Coun. Shellie Gudgeon says the area has been trampled and new make-shift trails are full of used condoms and needles.”

This is absolutely reactionary and the simple answer would be to have City of Victoria crews go in and clean the area on a  more regular basis.  They do this anywhere its needed so, if its messy, and trust me when I say, i’ve seen more McDonalds crap and coffee cups in there then beer or condoms.   I cruise through one end of that area on the Dallas Road side but do not go into any bushed area anywhere in Beacon Hill Park at night.  Or any other park for that matter, but thats just me.  I do see homeless campers here and there once and a while and lately more of that in that area so, its more likely someone is randomly stabbing homeless or gay men.  In that case I’d say we need the public to be more security minded as this will help in the long run.  Watching out for one another is key, all personal values and judgements aside.

Not camping alone or making sure you have a friend who knows when you got out cruising and where you are going.  When gay bashing and poor bashing and racial profiling and bashing are on the rise, community must respond with a public outcry.  This peer pressure will help put a fence around the abusers and this man who stabbed another human in a random act of brutal violence!  We also have to reach out more to the lone wolfs and support them when they area homeless.  They are most vulnerable.

In ending the article states:

“Police aren’t saying what they’d like to see done, but they are asking people to come forward with what they’re hearing from friends or even overhearing in coffee shops.”

Look out for that Orwellian message about listening in on conversations of neighbours in coffee shops!  Rats are rats.  My mom taught me to mind my own business, its one thing to overhear a thing, it another to listen in on folks to see what you might hear!  Wrong, not going there and please watch out for this slippery slope!

I hope to hear an announcement soon of a solidarity rally..

Gays In Victoria Under Attack, What You Gonna Do?  Stand Up Fight Back!

respect

kym hothead

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