Vancouver Study: Gays More Likely To Be Attacked
Gay men are twice as likely as heterosexual men to be victimized by violent crimes in Vancouver according to a nine-year study on the subject.
Researchers at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS surveyed 500 gay men as part of an effort to document the rate of physical violence in the Vancouver area. While the gay statistic wasn’t particularly surprising considering the continued persistence of homophobia, researchers were struck by the age of the victims. Gay men who came out of the closet before the age of 24 were attacked more frequently.
Dr. Thomas Lampinen, one of the researchers, said that the age findings highlight the importance of tolerance initiatives in schools:
In schoolyards all across the country, if ethnic and racial slurs were being uttered at this rate, it would be tolerated for about a New York minute. And yet, somehow, it seems OK for kids to be saying daily, “Oh, that’s so gay,” or calling people “faggot.”
Anti-gay and religious groups routinely oppose anti-homophobia measures in schools. One group called Defend Traditional Marriage and Family successfully pulled an optional teacher’s resource booklet on diversity from teachers lounges, and the Catholic Civil Rights League has launched a similar, grassroots assault against draft guidelines in B.C. Three Catholic School boards have even refused to let researchers distribute optional student surveys designed to measure the extent of homophobic bullying in school.
With such an organized assault on anti-bullying initiatives, it’s no wonder some people get the message that violence against gays is OK.