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Know Your Rights
Source: Jackson Heights Patch
Subject: Queens
Type: Media Coverage

Recent LGBTQ Attacks Spur Anti-Violence Rally In Jackson Heights

The LGBTQ+ community is demanding action after a 25-year-old man was brutally attacked just hours after this year’s Queens Pride Parade.

JACKSON HEIGHTS, QUEENS — Just hours after thousands of New Yorkers flooded Jackson Heights in a colorful show of LGBTQ+ pride, one parade goer was violently reminded why it was they still needed to march.

The Queens Pride Parade had barely cleared out when two unknown attackers shouted a gay slur at a 25-year-old man and brutally beat him near 83rd Street and 37th Avenue at around 10 p.m. on June 3, police told Patch. The pair punched him repeatedly, leaving him with a bused lip and bruises all over his face when they fled.

The man, who identified himself as Ben in an interview with WPIX11, said the attack happened just hours after he attended the Queens Pride Parade with some friends.

“We were hanging out. These two men saw me. One of them approached me. One of them says, ‘F— you, you f—ing f—-t.’ And before I could say anything back, he punched me in the face,” Ben told the news station.

Ben told WPIX11 he blacked out during the assault, and when he came to, the men were gone.

That attack and others sent shock waves through Queens’ LGBTQ+ community, who despite having the second largest Pride parade in New York City, is no stranger to homophobic attacks.

Local LGBTQ+ groups plan to use this attack as a starting point in addressing what they say is a much larger issue of homophobic and transphobic violence. A rally will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday along 83rd Street to demand action against the attacks that organizers say have become more common.

Just four days after Ben was beaten, a transgender Latina immigrant was stabbed five times on 82nd Street, according to Gay Men’s Health Crisis. The advocacy group – which offers HIV testing, care and prevention – is one of several rally organizers.

Bianey Garcia-D la O, an organizer for another participating group Make the Road New York, tweeted last Friday that the transgender woman didn’t report her brutal assault to the police out of fear she’d be arrested for being a sex worker and undocumented.

An NYPD spokesman conformed there was no report of the attack.

“This is not the first time that a transgender woman survived an attack and don’t want to make it public or make a police report, Garcia-D la O wrote in a tweet to NY1.

She and other LBTQ+ allies hope the rally will finally help raise some awareness about the fear their peers face.

“New York City needs to be a place for inclusion and understanding where these types of homophobic and transphobic violent attacks cannot be tolerated,” a spokesperson for Gay Men’s Health Crisis said.