Two Anti-Gay Attacks Occur in New York City Just Days Apart
Two incidents of anti-gay violence reportedly took place in New York City last week.
In the first attack, a lesbian couple was verbally assaulted while riding the New York City Q train to Brooklyn on May 20. The incident occurred around 7:30pm, according to reporting from AutoStraddle, when Antoine Thomas, 27, boarded the Q train and lobbed anti-gay epithets at the couple, calling them “faggot” and “dyke.” The incident escalated when one of the women asked the man to calm down. This prompted Thomas to attack one of the women and beat her unconscious.
The victim, who is 24, was taken to the Brooklyn Methodist Hospital and "treated for a concussion, broken eye socket and several cuts requiring stitches." Following the incident, Thomas was released without bail from the Brooklyn Criminal Court on May 21.
The second incident occurred just a few days following the train attack. As the New York Daily News reported, a 27-year-old man hurled anti-gay slurs at another man in the Bronx before hitting him on the head with his cane around 2:30am on May 25. The man reportedly confessed the attack to law enforcement, but believed he had done nothing wrong. The man was charged with assault and the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident.
The two incidents reflect continued violence against members of the LGBTQ community. The deadliest attack against LGBTQ people occurred last June, when a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people. According to data from FiveThirtyEight and the FBI Hate Crime Statistics, about a fifth of reported single-bias incidents were motivated against sexual orientation or gender identity. Research from the New York Times also suggests that members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to be the targets of hate crimes than any other minority group in the U.S.