In the last several weeks, the media has been abuzz about the tragic suicides of several young gay men. I want to touch on a different subject, though — clear examples that for some, it doesn’t get better the minute you graduate high school.
In New York City, a horrifying story is emerging about several gay men who were kidnapped, beaten, sodomized, and otherwise tortured by a group of ten assailants from a NYC gang.
From a CNN.com post on the subject:
The case involved three victims being held against their will by as many as 10 assailants who beat them in a vacant apartment and sodomized two of them, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Friday.
A fourth victim was beaten and robbed in connection with the attacks, which New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg described as “torture.”
“I was sickened by the brutal nature of these crimes and saddened at the anti-gay bias that contributed to them,” Bloomberg said Saturday. “Hate crimes such as these strike fear into all of us.”
The string of attacks began when members of a street gang calling themselves the Latin King Goonies learned that an aspiring member is gay, authorities said.
Yes, one of the young gay men made a critical mistake by trying to join the gang, and the entire sequence of events spiraled out of control when his would-be gangmates learned his secret. You can read the rest of the story by clicking on the link above, but suffice it to say, the gang kept tracing one gay man to the next and abusing them each in turn.
Bullying kids in school is a terrible thing, especially when it leads young men and women to commit suicide. But left unchecked, this same behavior, learned by many as children and teenagers, can grow into something even more deadly.
Insensitive bullying among schoolchildren is dangerous enough – kudos to those individuals and organizations trying to change those behaviors before it’s too late.