Another Weekend, Another LGBT ‘Bias Crime’ in New York City
Another spring weekend, another hate crime against New York City’s LGBT community.
This past Sunday, Eugene Lovendusky, cofounder of the LGBT rights group Queer Rising, was assaulted by a 19-year-old man after being bombarded with anti-gay epithets. Lovendusky’s assault came amid a series of high-profile hate crimes against New York LGBT residents—most notably the May 17 murder of 32-year-old gay man Mark Carson, who was shot to death in the streets of New York after being called “faggot” and “queer” by his assailants.
Days after Carson’s murder, more than 1,500 New Yorkers rallied in the streets against LGBT violence.
Yet the assaults have continued.
The New York Police Department recently released data that showed “bias crimes” have jumped from 13 to 22 since last year over the same period.
‘All violence is shocking. All violence is unacceptable. But from a professional perspective, we unfortunately see this type of violence all the time.’
That these types of attacks are taking place at all in 21st-century New York, a bastion of the LGBT-rights movement, may strike a casual observer as shocking. The confluence of violence has certainly caught the attention of the mainstream media: The recent attacks have turned into a national story.
But Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, an organization that advocates for the rights of and provides services to LGBT victims of violence, tells TakePart that on a pure statistical level, these attacks are the norm and not an aberration.
“All violence is shocking. All violence is unacceptable,” she says. “But from a professional perspective, we unfortunately see this type of violence all the time. We’re not done with the month yet, but we have not seen a huge jump in numbers of reports of violence.”
The Anti-Violence Project keeps its own statistics on hate attacks, because many LGBT New Yorkers simply do not feel comfortable interacting with the NYPD.