The LGBT community in California suffered a tragic loss when Jeffery Tod Owens was murdered on June 6. A gang of four to six men attacked Owens and Michael Bussee at about midnight outside of the Menagerie bar in Riverside. They stabbed Owens at least four times as they spat out anti-gay slurs, including "You want some trouble… fag, here it is." There’s been no motive at all uncovered other than simple, blind, blood-thirsty hatred.
The campaign of terror against gay men, lesbians, and transgendered people has got to stop. I’m tired of reporting on savage attacks, and I’m tired of celebrating the lives of people who should still be alive to celebrate with us. I urge everyone to join grassroots efforts for awareness and acceptance of the queer community, such as National Coming Out Day on October 11 and the Day of Silence against hate crimes on April 9. Str8 allies, help out wherever you can; we need the support. And I think we need to start talking as a community about what kind of efforts we can make to really track and fight back against anti-gay terror. I mean grassroots groups that move beyond the HRC style of top-down lobbying and feel-good cultural activism (that’s valuable, but it’s not enough on its own). How can we organize locally to defend ourselves and the people we care about? I don’t have any answers, but I hope that we can start asking the questions.