I was born and raised in Philadelphia. The city has always felt safe to me, which unfortunately was shaken with the gay bashing that happened in Center City a couple of weeks ago. While this has shaken my feeling of safety in my city, I’m going to focus the positives that have come from this terrible situation. The fact that the internet came to together and identified the culprits was amazing. Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims said it perfectly:
“One of the things I’ve learned is that sometimes it takes a horribly negative experience to get people out of their seats, for them to be active and engaged. It’s not necessarily because they’re opposed but because they aren’t aware of the need. So we are going to be sure to utilize this horrible event to make sure that they hear about it. I’m going to be bringing two people with me who will be able to tell them all about it.”
Now three people are being charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy.
Sims has also vowed to take the Philadelphia gay-bashing victims with him to the state capitol to spur attention to the pending bill that would re-add sexual orientation and gender identity to state hate crime laws.
If people didn’t come together to figure out who these people were, they would still be at large. I’m glad that something positive is coming from this terrible incident, and that there are people in the world who would work together to find the bashers and help bring them to justice. And I’m glad that hopefully in my home state that hate crimes will soon include sexual orientation and gender identity.
The world can be a really crappy place, even in places where we should feel safe; at least there are people who still shine a light into darkness and fight for what is right.
I’m glad that we can work as a community toward making something good out of a terrible situation.