I was absolutely horrified when I read the articles the past couple of days of the young man who was severely beaten in Salt Lake City. Last month, I posted a story that I had written called the Evolution of Monsters in My Life... and it's really kind of sad that this past weekend I started writing the second half of that story. I actually started to write that the monsters that chase, threaten, beat or kill us no longer exist in my life. What was I thinking? I mean you have to kind of know where I was going with the story; that I very rarely venture out to gay bars anymore and thus don't really put myself in those vulnerable situations as much as I did when I was younger. But all I need to do is pick up a newspaper or log onto a news website and there is story after story of another gay man being bashed, beaten and often killed.
Q Salt Lake posted the story of Dane Hall...
A 20 year old Salt Lake City resident was attacked and hospitalized last Friday night as he left a downtown club. Dane Hall, an openly gay man, was in the hospital for four days, lost six teeth and his jawbone was broken in three places as a result of the attack.
Hall said he left Club Sound, which is gay-themed on Friday nights, and crossed the street to the corner of 600 West and 200 South in Salt Lake City, when four men approached him and began yelling gay slurs. he was then punched in the back of the head and knocked to the ground. One of the assailants grabbed his shirt and began punching him in the face, he said.
After Hall fell to the ground again, the attacker grabbed him, placed his open mouth over the street curb and stomped on the back of his head, knocking out six teeth in a move commonly referred to as 'curb checking,' which can result in death in many cases. Two other assailants kicked him repeatedly in the stomach, Hall said. The attackers called him a 'fag' and took his identificationand $40, he said.
"I could have died. And a piece of bone from my jaw was jammed into my brain, to make things worse." Hall said in email correspondence because his jaw is still wired shut after the attack. "If anyone has any information leading to the arrest I am offering a $10,000 reward."
The hospital bills will total more than $30,000 and unless the assailants are found, Hall could be stuck with the bill, he said. Although he filed a police report, there have been no leads on the case and no suspects have been named, he said.
Salt Lake City Police said the case is active and being looked into.
The Salt Lake Tribune adds;
The man stomped on the side of Hall's head.
Hall, who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and 150 pounds, had his jaw fractured in three places and a chip of his jawbone jammed into his brain. His cheekbone also shattered and he lost six teeth.
Hall managed to get up after the attack, which Hall estimates lasted less than a minute. He walked toward a police officer and a medical crew that was about a half-block away. He said the police were busy working on something else and didn't get any information from him. Hall persuaded the medics not to call an ambulance.
"I knew I didn't have any money for a doctor," Hall said through a wired-shut jaw on the front porch of his Salt Lake City home.
Instead, two of his friends drove him to LDS Hospital. There, they gave him a shot and he didn't wak up until the next morning at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.
He filed a report with police after he woke, he said.
This is absolutely terrible and we read about it more and more every day. I spend hours every day reading blogs and news websites. I try my best to stay informed in regard to the fight for gay equality or, as I like to call it, gay prosperity. But for every article that I read where a gay organization is gearing up to fight for this right or a gay group is still fighting for that particular law, I read two articles where this religious group is thwarting this right or that right sided nutwing is calling for homosexuality to be ruled illegal again. It seems at times we are banging our heads against a wall. But back to Dane Hall and the monsters who so viciously attacked him. I truly believe in my soul that these monsters are created from the hate that is spewed from the pulpits of our country's churches. Especially in a state where the largest religious organization recently sent tens of millions of dollars to fight against the right of same-sex marriage that was proposed in another state. The mormon church, who definitely has always had strong views against homosexuality, had never been one to draw attention to itself regarding its stand. Then enter Prop 8 in California, and the river of money flowed in from Utah. The once silent "prophets" are now standing in front of media cameras calling homosexuality unforgivable. And we act shocked when violence against gays suddenly begins to rise in Utah.
We have "preachers" and "pastors" in front of television cameras and on the radio stating that we are abominations, that we are what is tearing the country apart, that we should be exiled from a country that was once built on freedom and gave a promise of prosperity. Men of "God" comparing us to pedophiles, polygamists and acts of bestiality. Voices of religion who speak in the name of Christ and yet have now became the true definition of the Anti-Christ. And again we wonder why hate crimes are becoming more frequent.
There isn't a doubt in my mind that these monsters are also created from the floors of our country's political buildings. There are currently politicians vying for the most powerful political seat in the world who are signing contracts to promise to amend our country's constitution and promising to start investigations into the actions of our country's citizens whose orientation they find offensive. There are politicians who hide in fear, lose their voice and vote in a way that will ensure their re-election and pad their financial coffers. They care for no one other than those who can finance their bigotry and hatred or support their views and the organizations and corporations who agree with said views. Once again, spewing hatred and bigotry in front of any media outlets camera that can be found. Once again we are shocked when violence against us is ignored.
Unfortunately, I have no answers as to how to rid the world of the monsters we face daily. I don't think that I can shout any louder, cry any more or stand more steadfast. But I will fight against these monsters until I have nothing left to give.