This is just horrifying.

Twenty-seven-year-old Sondra Scarber now has her jaw wired shut. Her face is badly bruised and swollen. She can barely speak, and she must take medicine through a straw squeezed between her teeth. In her own words:

It’s hard for me to stay strong when I see myself in the mirror. I can’t do anything for myself.
Scarber is going through all of this because she was brutally attacked on an elementary school playground while she was with her girlfriend Hillary Causey and Causey's son, four-year-old Jaxon. Why? Because she's a lesbian.

This nightmare began when Scarber and Causey took Jaxon to the Seabourn Elementary School playground in Mesquite, Texas, on February 17 so Jaxon could play. Things quickly got out of hand, however, when a group of older children began bullying the younger Jaxon. Scarber and Causey walked over to the group and told them that Jaxon is only four years old and that they need to keep their hands off of him. That's when a father walked over to the group, apparently thinking Scarber--who dresses in baggy pants and has short hair--was a man. When he realized he was dealing with a woman whom he assumed (correctly) to be a lesbian, things quickly escalated.

Causey recalls:

When he walked up thinking it was father and mom with the kid, he wasn’t as angry, but then when he figured out it was a female, he got like super pissed, and I don’t know why.
The man punched Scarber and knocked her to the ground, where he continued to punch and kick her while yelling homophobic slurs, all in front of the children. Causey remembers the attack:
He was like, "Well if you think you’re a man...I’m going to treat you like a man." All she kept saying was, "I’m a female. I’m a female..." She never even had time to take her hands out of pockets to try and block herself.
The man got away in time to not be arrested. And according to Scarber and Causey, Mesquite police don't seem to be in any big rush to catch him or treat the incident as a hate crime. The WFAA article claims that the police are not pursuing it as a hate crime because sexual orientation was not the "original trigger." So it's not a hate crime if somebody kicks and punches a lesbian while yelling homophobic slurs if he was already a little pissed off before he realized she was a lesbian. Okay, Mesquite police. Gotcha.

Gays and lesbians are protected under both federal and Texas state hate crimes law, by the way.

Lt. Bill Hedgpeth of the Mesquite Police Department has the following to say:

At this point, we have no indication the assault occurred because of her sexual orientation. Regardless of motive, we want to catch them.
But, according to the WFAA article:
Officers insist they are looking for a black man, about 5’7", who weighs 185 pounds. He was wearing a royal blue T-shirt and jeans, and was driving an early 2000's silver Chevrolet Impala with temporary tags. Police say he was with a black woman, about 5’5”, 140 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt and jeans.
In the meantime, young Jaxon is having trouble sleeping and does not want to return to the playground.

Here's hoping the homophobic asshole is caught and brought to justice.

Watch the heartbreaking news report here:


Originally posted to Chrislove on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:17 PM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays, LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, and Invisible People.

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