Gay Columnist: Holding Hands Can Still Pose a Risk

Recent attacks in New York indicate why gay people still have reason to be afraid, writes New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.

BY Trudy Ring

August 16 2013 7:02 PM ET

Recent attacks on gay men in New York City have driven home the point that it’s still often risky for gay people to do as simple a thing as hold a partner’s hand in public, says New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.

In a blog post, Bruni notes that when two men were beaten up in Manhattan’s heavily gay Chelsea neighborhood this week, the apparent catalyst for the assault was that they were holding hands. Several other gay men have been attacked in the city over the past few months, with one shot to death “by a man who first taunted him for being gay,” Bruni writes.

Despite all the progress toward LGBT equality, Bruni says, “when my partner takes my hand in public in New York City, I look at the sidewalk ahead. I note how many pedestrians are coming our way, and how quickly, and whether they’re male or female, young or old, observant or distracted. And I sometimes take my hand back, wishing I were braver, wishing our world didn’t ask me to be.”

Read the full piece here.
 

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