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Gay-bashing on Davie Street? What’s wrong with this city? September 29, 2008

Posted by Raul in Focus on Vancouver, public policy issues.
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I hate any kind of bullying or bashing, but a gay bashing is one of those hate crimes I simply can’t stomach. It’s amazing how much safety is taken for granted anywhere, and how religion, sexual orientation or race can create such amazing divides. We are all human beings, whether we like it or not. I hadn’t heard mention of this until my good friend JT mentioned that tae-kwon-do training may come handy when it comes to having to deal with this type of attacks.

I was reading some of the CTV online coverage and given that these stories indicate that frequently bashing victims fail to report these crimes, I would like to commend the victim (Jordan Smith) for coming forward. And encourage those who have been victims to raise their voice.

It’s somewhat frustrating that so much progress against homophobia has been achieved, yet public safety seems to be compromised in what is supposed to be the safest area for queer people (Vancouver’s West End). This should definitely be an issue that should be covered in the upcoming municipal election – how is public safety going to be enhanced? Tougher laws against bashers? I don’t really know.

This unfortunate and sad event really reminds me of how much sometimes we actually do need superheroes (the first thing that sprung to mind when I read about this was the movie “Super-Amigos”, a Mexican Canadian production that aired during the 2007 Vancouver Queer Film Festival). And those who come forward when being victims of crime (any crime, really) are also heroes. Kudos to you Jordan, and to everyone else who has reported these horrible incidents.

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Comments»

1. raincoaster - September 29, 2008

It’s amazing to me that there are people who deliberately go out to attack other people who have a different sexual orientation. I knew Aaron Webster, the fellow who was killed in Stanley Park a few years back and was horrified when I heard his killers got off so lightly. When will we step up put a stop to this?

2. Greg Andrews - September 29, 2008

Yeah, I was very surprised to hear about this and where it happened. Frakin coward oughta try his hateful words on Davie during the day.

To try and directly answer the question “What’s wrong with this city?”, in this instance I’d say it’s angsty douchenozzles from the suburbs who flock into Granville St as their drunken playground and can’t respect Downtown as a neighbourhood where people live.

3. raincoaster - September 29, 2008

At the risk of stereotyping, I must agree. People who actually LIVE here don’t behave like that. Even if they wanted to, they know that the guys from the PumpJack could plaster the walls with them at will, so they are constrained.

That was the case with the lesbian bashing of what, two years ago? in Gastown. Guys came in from Surrey specifically to bash gays.

4. Joe Hatoum - September 30, 2008

You cant generalize the people of the city of Vancouver/604 as gay bashers because of some people are; there are many who are not.

Although I’m perfectly straight, I was approached by people who wanted to fight someone and were just looking for that as a good reason. It only took a few second before they changed their minds after silently acknowledging a fight with me for them would be disastrous.

I think there are a lot of issues to be brought up, and gaybashing is just one of them. Another could be the spread of disease, by various method, like microbial contamination of aquatic, airborn, residue, biological fluids contact, or other nature.

Also chemical toxins like smoke partials from cigarettes & car exhaust.. bus stops and parking lots could arguably be labled as bio-hazard zones.

5. WTS - What the Surrey #35: Blame Surrey » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca Bollwitt - September 30, 2008

[…] can read more on Raul’s post from yesterday as […]

6. Raul - September 30, 2008

@ all – I would like to make a point in not stereo-typing as well, just because someone is from a certain geographical region (like the suburbs). We risk being just as intolerant as the other people we just criticized.

I would suggest that SOME people from a variety of places are very hateful. It happens in every city, as Joe indicates.

It is an act of cowardice, very well described by raincoaster and Greg.

I am not generalizing all the people from Vancouver or the 604 area as gay bashers. The point I am trying to make is that we ought to try and find ways to help stop the violence.

@ Joe – Agreed, there are a lot of other problems that should be looked at. I was just irked by this particular one recently, but I’ve written about many other problems (particularly environmental since that’s my area of expertise) in my blog.

Thanks everyone for chiming in.

7. Tawcan - September 30, 2008

I hope the guy will get a stiff sentence and teach others a lesson. I have read some news articles but haven’t heard too much details. I think the thing happened at 5 AM? Chances are the attackers were drunk from a night out on Granville street…but still not an excuse to attack someone.

The whole thing just sickens me.

8. Urban Dweller - September 30, 2008

That was a despicable act. We have made great strides in this city, then one numskull ruins it.

9. Monica Hamburg - September 30, 2008

With everyone else here on this. Absolutely sickening and inexcusable.

10. Globe & Post: Plagiarism vs Economic Disaster. Haven't We Got Better Things To Discuss in Canada's Election 2008? | Currents - September 30, 2008

[…] How about focusing on real issues, like ensuring Canadians are safe to walk around our urban centres without worrying about hate-motivated violence like the tragic attack in Vancouver this week (as commented on by Vancouver uber-blogger Hummingbird604). […]

11. Jonathon Narvey - September 30, 2008

Ignorant thugs doing ignorant thuggy things. Call me an optimist, but I think you have to scrape pretty far down the bottom of the barrel of our city to find hateful goons like this. That’s why we’re all so horrified by the incident. Or am I being naive?

Coming close on the heels of the guy in the West End who smashed people indiscriminately with a hammer in the evening of the Pride Parade, I hope these incidents aren’t indicative of a trend.

I’ve been persuaded lately that the teaching of “tolerance” in our society is far too shallow a goal. One should not have to be reminded of the positive traits of various cultures and lifestyles in order to avoid smashing strangers in the face. A simple, across the board respect for all human beings, regardless of background, that precludes the stupidity of improvised street violence is really what we’re after.

12. Soctane - October 1, 2008

What will await him in jail when he is convicted?

13. What’s Up Wednesdays: Name the Beluga || Beyond the Rhetoric || - October 1, 2008

[…] any kind of bullying or bashing, but he is particularly annoyed and frustrated about the recent gay-bashing on Davie Street. In case you’re not familiar, Davie Street is the biggest home to Vancouver’s gay and […]

14. Vancouver Blogger Gus Greeper » Blog Archive » Congratulations! - October 1, 2008

[…] our neighborhood from gay bashing fuckers. [must read posts on this locale travesty Miss604 & Raul]¬† I think I’d put my first card on West End BIA Executive Director Lynn Hellyar’s car […]

15. raincoaster - October 3, 2008

I’ve got to apologize for and correct my earlier remarks. Obviously, people who live here in Vancouver DO behave like this. I’ve had my own stereotypes shaken, deservedly.

I hope that all justice, and no more than justice, comes down on the perpetrators. Thank god we’re not a country where jailhouse rapes are commonplace. Our system is terribly flawed, but not yet that terribly flawed.


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