Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018
 
search SGN
Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018
click to go to click to visit advertiser's website

 


 


 
Cost of the
War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
click to go to advertisers website
 
COMMENTARY: Making Capitol Hill a safer place
COMMENTARY: Making Capitol Hill a safer place
by Reverend Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Maybe it's being a minister, or just having lived on or around the Hill for nearly the entire 20 years I've been in Seattle, but I think of the populace up here as my flock. Like, if I did have an actual building for my ministry, the GBLTQ community would certainly be a large part of my congregation. So, when I watched the news (something I'm increasingly shying away from doing, because the glut of bad news here lately just makes my life miserable) and saw that the two newest victims of a hate crime/bashing on Capitol Hill last weekend were two men I've seen around, it just made my blood boil. Hey, I might be a minister, but I'm still human, too, and capable of very human feelings. And when someone attacks my community, "my boyzz," as I think of them, I get really riled up, and it hurts me, too, as it hurts all of us, I believe.

Ironic that this happened the week the anti-hate posters went up everywhere, urging the GBLTQ community to be more aware, not confront bullies and walk with buddies to be safer. These two young men did nothing to confront the man who broke one of their noses, and were walking together, not alone. Yet they were still attacked and terrorized by what seems to be an increasing number of violent, hate-filled people who have starting coming to the Hill with malice in mind - particularly malice toward Gay men. So much so that I've started cautioning the guys I work with at The Cuff at their monthly Full Moon Parties (where I serve as tarot reader) to "be careful going home." Part of me wants to keep them in the safe confines of The Cuff, where they can express their sexuality openly, and without fear of retaliation from nutjobs who hate them simply for being who they are. But that isn't realistic, and it won't do any good in the long run either.

I guess I remember too well the time a Gay male friend and I were confronted by skinheads on Broadway, and because we were on Broadway, and felt this was "our Hill," we stood our ground and stared the haters down. True, my knees were shaking, and so were my friend's, but we held hands and refused to give way. The skinheads moved on, but not before glaring with "we'll get you later" looks. It was sobering, but back then, in the still "Gay Mecca" days of the '80s, Broadway did feel like our neighborhood. Unfortunately, that isn't the case any more. No, now when I do go to Broadway (which I seldom do anymore), I'm looking over my shoulder, aware of how few GLBTQ people there are on Broadway these days, or at least identifiable people. And the Gay Pride flags are gone, as are many of the more Gay-friendly hangouts, and the sense of a thriving GLBTQ community.

I'm not saying change is bad, because change is part of growth. What I am saying is that I've seen a pattern of disconnectedness and a stripping-away of the things that made the Hill a place where, as a Bi person, I felt safe. Maybe we need the Guardian Angels back, or something like them, or we just need to figure out how to recreate the sense of community pride we had when I moved here in '87. No, we can't go back, but we can stand tall and face down this threat together, and we can refuse to stop holding hands, kissing on the sidewalks, or anything else that tells the world we are who we are and are damned proud of it too. Put the flags back on Broadway, put the "rainbow displays" back in business windows, and let's all work together to keep this area from suffering any more needless violence from folks who think we're all just a bunch of weirdos who should go back in our closets. And damn it, it's so time for a "Take Back The Night/Take Back The Hill" march! One that shows what a diverse and huge group we are. A group to be reckoned with.

A group that's strong, vocal and who won't let these cowards bashing our own keep doing this to our community. Carry Mace, use it if you're threatened, and present a strong presence to these jerks and I promise you, some of this will stop. True, the violence we're seeing on the Hill is being seen all over Seattle, but this is our Hill, our beloved, safe Hill - or it used to be. It can be again, if we all - every one of us - hold our heads up, look these people in the eye and say: no more of this crap! After all, the police can only be so many places and I'm more into each person taking responsibility for themselves and those around them. We are our brother's and sister's keepers, so if you see someone being threatened, don't just bloody stand there, get some other folks and throw something, yell, make them feel like we're not going to stand by and let them hurt anyone else. This is how the civil rights movement made such advancements, and trust me, being Black, from the South and Bisexual, I know from whence I speak. Do not let these homegrown terrorists take away our freedom to move about in our own community. We're here, we're Queer and we're a force that isn't going away, so get used to it, you jerks coming to bash on the Hill.

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog



click to visit advertiser's website

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2007