Haters in Dallas might well be outnumbered: Turnout at an event on National Coming Out Day indicates mounting support for the victims of hate crimes in the Lone Star State's third biggest city.
About 100 people responded to a posting on Facebook to show up at the Legacy of Love Monument Sunday night, and stood in solidarity with Dallas's LGBT population, reports The Dallas Morning News.
The rally was organized by Daniel Cates, who billed it as "We Are Not Afraid: LGBTQ Response to Hate." The demonstration followed three attacks in recent weeks in and around the Oak Lawn neighborhood.
"There are those out there who want to send a message," Cates told the crowd. "And they want to send it so badly that they're willing to cause us physical harm, to scare us back into our closets and to make us afraid."
People at the gathering waved rainbow flags, and some embraced Michael Dominguez, who is recovering from a recent attack that occurred as he walked home from a gay nightclub, Station 4.
On October 2, Dominguez, 32, was knocked unconscious and stabbed in the eye, behind the ear, and on his side. "I don't know how else to explain it other than that somebody has hate in their heart obviously to do this to somebody else," he said, and encouraged those in attendance to speak out against hate.
"As a community we have a history of minding our own business. If something happens [we say] it comes with the territory, it comes with being gay, that's what we're risking," he said. "I don't think that should be the case."
The only one of several recent LGBT attacks in the area to be labeled a hate crime by police occurred in the Love Field neighborhood September 20, following the Pride Festival, when four men attacked a man and beat him with a baseball bat while yelling antigay slurs.
In July the severely decomposed body of a transgender woman was found in a field near Stemmons Freeway. The woman, Shade Schuler, had been shot to death, as The Advocate previously reported.
Watch Dallas TV station KXAS's report on the rally, below.