Monday, December 27, 2010
So much for the enduring myth that the city of Austin is a “liberal island” in the red state of Texas.
In what was at least the third anti-gay hate crime in Austin this year, including one high-profile case this past February involving two gay male softball players who were attacked near city hall, a 26-year-old gay man says he and a friend were the latest victims of a violent hate crime outside gay bars on 4th Street in downtown Austin early Sunday morning.
Bobby Beltran said he and his friend had just left Rain, a gay bar, at about 1:30 a.m. When they hugged each other goodbye on the sidewalk, some men in a passing vehicle yelled, “Fucking faggots, stop that queer shit!”
After Beltran yelled at the men to “get out of here,” all five of them jumped out of the vehicle and attacked him and his friend. Beltran said he fought back but suffered cuts and bruises and a black eye. His friend may have suffered a broken jaw. The attackers quickly jumped back in the vehicle, which was parked in the middle of the street, and drove off.
“I’ve never in my life been in any kind of violent situation, especially a hate crime, so it’s been pretty traumatic,” Beltran said. “Austin is supposed to be a gay haven, especially on 4th Street. What scares me even more is that nobody even helped.”
The attack lasted for about three minutes and was witnessed by at least 20 people, but none of them tried to help.
I have argued for years that Austin’s liberal bona fides is grossly overrated and it looks like I stand correct.