Funny how someone you watched go out to pick up food could wind up battered and bloody, all for the transgression of being gay.
Via Oregon's principal news website:
Dillan Joseph Cashman, 21, approached two men who were walking arm-in-arm through the park early Sunday morning and began hurling homophobic slurs at them. The two men left the park, but one of them, 30-year-old Andrew Dempsey-Gluth, returned later and saw Cashman standing on a balcony at a building next to the park.
Dempsey-Gluth told Cashman what he had done was inappropriate, and Cashman retaliated by coming to the park and assaulting Dempsey-Gluth.
Officers responded at 4:48 a.m. on Sunday to the park, located in the 200 block of Southwest Harrison Street, and arrested Cashman in his apartment. Cashman was charged with intimidation and assault and booked into Multnomah County Jail.
This is immediately south of downtown's business core, in the Portland State University neighborhood. This is a very "safe" area. My friend informs me that the victim, his friend "had a bloody face and he got knocked down." The victim was actually attacked after leaving my friend's apartment, while he and a companion were going to a convenience store.
My friend confirms there was a second man involved in the two different incidents, but he has not been caught yet.
This happened the same night following a march against homophobic attacks! That march was prompted, in part, because my other friend's friends were beaten just across the river at the end of May--only a few hundred yards from downtown Portland. One of those men was left in the hospital with a mounting bill. At the close of June, another attack on two men occurred in Chinatown.
This is an escalation of the homophobic environment I grew up in, and although it coincides with Oregon's Little Depression, it has been mounting for several years.
On March 2, 2010, I drew somewhat nearer--not my closest, but close--to the terrible, gray hand of death:
Last night I rode a bus line I'd been on 50 times probably, home from a friend's house. My friend is gay, and rides that same bus sometimes wearing makeup and drag.
When I got on I was taunted with about 15 sentences including the word faggot. Being at the back (where the other seats available were) he was mumbling out of earshot of most of the bus and the driver. He being someone only a little younger than me, and relatively athletic, with four other relatively athletic young men. After about the 10th or 15th provocation I looked him straight in the eye and told him something he didn't expect.
"That's Mr. Faggot to you." He was clearly expecting nervousness, or a jump to fight back. He wasn't expecting firmness or humor.
He stared back uneasily for a moment, and then threatened to shoot me.
After high school, I matriculated into a world far less progressive and pleasant than I was told. I have watched various stages of mythology and mere deterioration of the progressive ghetto in San Francisco, Seattle, and in this case, Portland, due to the undeniable presence of racism, privilege, and other iniquities.
Another case of homophobia, yet again, in Portland.
What makes this really disturbing to me is that, in a white-heavy community, the victims, white men, are far more likely to elicit concern than sexual minorities of color or transgendered people, who are also attacked and excluded routinely.