The attack on a young man outside Motor City Pride last weekend is terrible. I know we all hope he heals and that his attackers are brought to justice. What is also terrible is the extent to which people are blaming the attack on having brought Pride to Detroit (from its previous location in the suburbs). Seriously!?! Blame the haters people!
Motor City Pride is in downtown Detroit and it is a fantastic event that is bringing LGBTQA communities together in all their wonderful diversity. The legendary spirit of Detroit is alive in Hart Plaza. Honestly, no Pride event in the suburbs can parallel the diversity, energy and importance of celebrating the freedom to be who we are in the heart of Detroit.
It is not Detroit that brought violence to Christin Howard. It was young men who hate. LGBT people are attacked in cites, the burbs, the boonies, and in their own homes. They are attacked by people who are afraid, who feel threatened, who are ignorant, or who
are too insecure to accept difference.
You want to solve for anti-gay violence? Work on improving anti-gay hate crime law and enforcement. Work on stopping hate speech passed off as political discourse or “religious freedom.” Work on stopping bullying in schools and the workplace instead of waiting for it to get better. Work on ensuring the right for all to work, learn, love, and live. If people aren’t given these dignities, others will assume they have the freedom to attack.
This attack happened, not because Pride was in the great Motor City. It happened because our society at large still tolerates this violence. To flee the city and find a “safer” place for pride is ludicrous. Stand up people. Don’t suggest hate should drive Pride from Detroit. Drive intolerance out of Detroit, and everywhere else, with Pride.