Canada: Four teens attack gay 13yr old boy in Chatham hate crime – 190513 1615z

“Faggot. Queer.

The words shouted by four teenaged boys as they kicked 13-year-old David, not his real name, still echo in his head.

David was walking the two blocks home from his bus stop along West Street on May 6 at about 4 p.m. when he was surrounded by four males.

The youths, believed to be between 14-16 years old, called out his name and began to taunt him about his sexuality.

They were calling me names like ‘faggot’ and ‘queer’ and they were telling me that I should go to hell, said David. I tried to ignore them and I tried to go to the other side of the street, but then one kid pushed me back.

He lost his balance and when he hit the ground the youths began to kick him, continuing their verbal onslaught.

David curled up and did his best to protect his head from the blows, trying to figure how to get away.

I was in a ball and sort of in shock, he said. I was thinking ‘Wow, this really hurts.’ It felt really long, but it probably only lasted 15 seconds-ish.

Even when the kicking stopped, the threats didn’t.

The leader of the group, he turned around pulled out a pocket knife, David said. (He) flipped it up and said ‘If you tell anyone, then you’re going to die.’ And then he ran away.

The Grade 8 John N. Given Public school student, who is openly gay, said he didn’t recognize any of his attackers, but they knew his name.

David went home and told his mother about the incident. She contacted police.

Hate crimes are typically directed both at an individual victim, as well as a group or class of people, said Const. Renee Cowell, public information officer for the Chatham-Kent police. For this reason, the Chatham-Kent Police Service is actively investigating this assault as a hate crime.

David spent seven hours in the hospital undergoing X-rays on his ribs and a number of tests to rule out damage to the spleen and kidneys.

Most of the injuries were on his left side ribs, the kidney area, his arm, said Dan, David’s father. They said he could have micro-fractures in his ribs, but they wouldn’t be able to tell with an x-ray . But just by the amount of pain he was experiencing, for sure bruised ribs.

Cowell said police take all assaults seriously and receive ongoing training to deal with the prevalence of incidents between youth.

I would say we’re fortunate in Chatham-Kent that it is a rare occurrence. When it does happen, we do take it seriously and we’ll do everything possible to prevent it from happening again, she said. Especially because it concerns the youth of our community.

The police’s dedication to discovering who his son’s attackers are is a small comfort to Dan, who has taken the extra precaution of having David’s bus stop moved and ensuring an adult is there to meet him every day.

I’m happy see that it’s being taken as seriously as it is, he said. Forget about the four-on-one beating up of a child basically, you’ve got this whole anti-gay hate I don’t even know what to describe it as. And you’ve got a believable threat with a knife.

Aside from the physical impact of David’s injuries have had, the beating has had a mental toll on his son, he said.

David can’t sleep, he has nightmares and is hyper-aware of his surroundings whenever he’s out in public.

David himself said he’s concerned there might be a video or photo of the beating he took floating out there and could make an appearance on the Internet.

It might get out and it would be humiliating, said David, his slender 5’11 frame visibly shrinking into the chair.

Dan looks over at his son with quiet concern.

I know you don’t want people to see you taking a beating, but to see four people taking advantage of one kid is not something to be proud of, he said quietly. You see on the news all these people who are being tortured on social media for whatever reason; bullying is bullying. They’ve just taken it one extra step and made it into a hate crime.

It’s not just about David, it’s about his sexuality, it’s about why he’s different, said Dan before turning back to look at his son.

Thank God you’re different because I wouldn’t want you to be like those idiots, he said. I’m glad you are who you are. At least you’re brave enough to be a real person.

Cowell said hate crimes will not be tolerated in Chatham-Kent and is reaching out to the community hoping anyone who witnessed the incident will come forward.

We’re hoping that someone stands up and speaks out, said Cowell. We need everybody to rally together as a community and make sure this doesn’t happen again. This is preventable, these incidents are preventable, if we all take a stand as a community.

If the intent of the attackers was to diminish who David was as a person they couldn’t be more wrong.

I feel like when I grow up I’ll feel a lot stronger because I can say ‘I went through that,’ he said. So I could basically do anything.

Anyone with information on the hate crime is asked to call Const. Gary Oriet at 519-436-6619 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).” –

It does get better….

(Video credit: itgetsbetterproject)
Published on 8 May 2013
Basketball star, Brittney Griner talks about her experience being bullied and how life got better for her in this video for the It Gets Better Project.

Follow Brittney at @brittneygriner
http://www.facebook.com/brittneygriner
http://www.brittneygriner.com

It Gets Better Plus: Out at School Discussion Hangout

(Video credit: itgetsbetterproject)
Published on 30 Jan 2013
LGBT students and student activists share their stories and come together for a hangout to discuss what it’s like to be out at school. They also speak about their hopes, resources and ways for making schools and campuses better for LGBT youth.

For more information about our It Gets Better Plus Google Hangouts, visit: http://www.itgetsbetter.org/hangout

For more resources on coming out and being out at school, you can visit some of the referenced organizations below:

Born This Way Foundation: http://www.bornthiswayfoundation.org
Campus Pride: http://www.campuspride.org
Creating Change (Task Force): http://www.thetaskforce.org
GLSEN: http:// http://www.glsen.org
The GSA Network: http://www.gsanetwork.org
PFLAG: http://www.pflag.org
The Trevor Project: http://www.thetrevorproject.org

In Canada: http://www.stopabully.ca/
In the news recently; Gay teen holds the line for Manitoba bullying bill

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