Jerry Knight, 41, the victim of a gay bashing on Saturday night, was reluctant to discuss the incident. "I’ll be honest. It's hard for me. The only reason I am is to hopefully do my part in bringing violence to our community to light,” he told The Stranger. “I am pretty pissed that they broke a tooth.”
He sent a small photo of his bloodied face taken on the night of the attack, which is after the jump. “I took a photo of myself so that I can remind myself to be angry. There will be a time that it will remind me to get out there and do something.”
On Saturday night at about 1:30 a.m., Knight was walking home through the Central District when two men targeted him. One yelled, “Where the fuck are you coming from?” and the other yelled “Faggot!”, according to the police report. The men jumped him from behind and repeatedly punched Knight in the face; then they knocked him to the ground and started kicking him. Knight fought back. And the two attackers then fled the scene. Knight’s white outfit was splattered with blood when police arrived.
Knight, who was at Gay Bingo earlier in the evening, thinks his outfit, a sailor suit, may have gotten the men's attention. “It’s funny because I usually change my costume at the site.” He adds, “It think that I was an the wrong place at the wrong time, and two guys felt the need to hit somebody.”
But for many men who have been the victims of a growing number of gay bashings, the “wrong place” seems to be almost anywhere near Capitol Hill. Three weeks ago, another man was reportedly the target of a gay bashing near 10th Avenue and East Madison Street, a few blocks from Knight's attack.
“When I first moved here they had the Q-Patrol,” a volunteer group in black-and-white fatigues who would patrol Capitol Hill, Knight says. “I would love for the Q-Patrol to return.” Their presence, he says, would remind gay people “we are not alone.”
A candlelight vigil and march is scheduled in response to a “recent upsurge in hate crimes against members of LGBTQ community” this Saturday, February 28 that begins at 8:00 p.m. by the pillars on Boren Avenue and Pike Street. I’ll post more about the vigil later today.
The Seattle Police Department has referred Knight’s case to its bias-crimes detective. “I am really proud of our police department and how seriously they took it,” says Knight. “It reinforced my faith in the police department. They really made me feel safe.”