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|[Video] Savannah LGBT activists speak out against Atlanta gay bashing|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|February 08, 2012 22:53|
Savannah Pride's Executive Director Chris Brown spoke to WSAV-TV about the brutal beating of an Atlanta gay man and said this type of crime should not be happening today.
"We do like to think that we are progressive, and what happened there in Atlanta was disgusting and hateful and it sickens me to think that this is part of the struggle," he said.
Brandon White, 20, who is gay, was beaten Saturday, Feb. 4, by three gang members in an unprovoked attack. On Wednesday he spoke out about the attack and said he hopes what happens to him never happens to anyone else.
“I feel that I was very violated,” White said at a press conference.
“I thought that … if a straight person could walk to the store and not have a problem I should be able to do the same thing. I shouldn't have to worry about whether or not I should have to look over my shoulder or if this person is going to attack me or that person is going attack me for just being a gay male.
“I could have died that day. They're monsters,” he added.
Brown of Savannah said he sometimes fears for his safety.
"As a gay man in Savannah, I have my moments. I have my moments where I take a step back and I think, ‘Are they looking at me because they think I’m gay or are they just looking at me in passing?’ But what I know, is that our community as a whole, is good," Brown added.
SCAD is also producing the play "Stop Kiss" next week in Savannah. The play is about a lesbian who is beaten so severely she ends up in a coma.
Alyssa Gentry, the director of the play, said she hopes the play brings about more tolerance and less violence against LGBT people.
“I long for a day when people don’t even have to be tolerated, it’s just accepted. I think we are getting there. I think it’s just a matter of educating," she said.
Atlanta Police and the U.S. Attorney's Office are investigating White's attack as a possible hate crime. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is offering a $10,000 reward to tips leading to the arrests of the men who attacked White. Atlanta City Council member Cleta Wilson is also offering a $1,000 reward.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Atlanta police at 404-624-0674 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477
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