City of San Pedro Raises Rainbow Flag For Victim of Harrassment

In a sign of solidarity and support, the community of San Pedro, Los Angeles flew a rainbow flag for Ryan Gierach, a gay Air Force veteran who has recently been harassed in his neighborhood.

Gierach moved into his San Pedro apartment two years ago, and says the level of harassment he’s received has escalated ever since.

Gierach says his neighbors have posted signs harassing him, calling him “pedophile” among other names. They’ve even thrown dirty diapers at him. The abuse has been caught on camera.

“[They] looked up at me and began calling me gay epithets and a child molester,” Gierach says.

LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino led the flag-raising ceremony at Welcome Park.

“We are a town, we are a city that’s inclusive, that regardless of who you love, how you love, how you pray, what you look like, or how you live, that we are welcoming to everyone here in San Pedro,” Buscaino said.

Gierach hopes that the abuse will stop after Saturday’s ceremony and the public show of support from his San Pedro community.

“This is not about me," Gierach told CBS LA. "This happens every day in every place in this nation.”

A rainbow flag was also raised at the LAPD’s Harbor division on Saturday.

Gierach is formerly the editor of WeHo News, which he launched in 2005. He sold the url a few years back amid financial and addiction struggles he was very public with. He recently told KTLA he was discharged from the Air Force in 1979 for his sexuality. 

h/t: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/06/16/san-pedro-raises-lgbtq-rainbow-flag-in-show-of-support-for-hate-crime-victim/

h/t: https://www.wehoville.com/2018/06/07/former-weho-news-publisher-ryan-gierach-alleges-abuse-san-pedro-neighbors-gay/

h/t: https://www.advocate.com/crime/2018/6/07/gay-veteran-alleges-homophobic-abuse-neighbors

Gay Couple Brutally Attacked In Russia Before World Cup

Just prior to the first match of this year’s World Cup in St. Petersburg, a gay couple were brutally attacked.

A Frenchman identified only as O. Davrius and his partner, who hasn’t been named, were physically assaulted and robbed of their money and cellphones. Davrius suffered a fractured jaw, an open head injury and possible brain damage.

The opening match in the 2018 World Cup was between two anti-LGBTQ+ nations: Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Davrius and his partner were reportedly targeted and attacked after they caught a taxi.

Perhaps you know this already, but FIFA is the worst. Just the absolute worst. Driven solely by the desire for profit, they’ve ignored the civil rights and safety of fans, and even players, for decades. They’ve received a great deal of criticism for the decision to hold this year’s games in Russia, especially in light of the incarcerations and executions in Chechnya.

Organizations for LGBTQ+ soccer fans have been receiving threats for months leading up to the World Cup. One such group, Pride in Football, received messages saying LGBTQ+ soccer fans would be hunted down and killed.

Russia’s government is openly homophobic. Anti-LGBTQ+ crimes in the nation have risen sharply since 2013, when the “gay propaganda” law came into play. This law bans any positive mention of LGBTQ+ people or rights in any place accessible to minors.

Nevertheless, in the weeks leading up to the opening ceremonies, this year’s World Cup organizing committee told LGBTQ+ fans that no harm would come to them at this year’s series.

In four years, FIFA is holding the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is flat-out illegal.

h/t: si.com

Prison Staff Sued By Family of Man Murdered By Homophobic Cellmate

In July 2017, gay inmate Rodrigo Montez Burks was murdered by his cellmate Deshawn Madden at Alger Correctional Facility in Muskegon County, Michigan. Last month, Madden was convicted of first-degree murder. Now, Burks’ family is suing the Michigan Department of Corrections on the grounds that authorities could have prevented the "homophobic" slaying.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Burks’ mother Dequita Burks, alleges that corrections officers knew Madden was violently homophobic and denied to separate the men despite repeated pleas from both.

The suit claims Madden repeatedly told a corrections officer that if he wasn't moved, "I'm gonna hurt this guy.”

“[Madden] boy was like, ’Hey I am not gonna be locked in here with a fag,'” inmate Todd Wentworth told Metro Times. “And the guard was like, ’It’s not our problem.’”

Reportedly, Burks asked the resident unit manager for a new cell assignment the morning he was killed. “She was like, ’You’re not here for convenience,'” Wentworth says. “Basically, we’re not moving you ’cause you wanna move—this ain’t the Holiday Inn.”

"Each of the Defendants named herein ignored the threats and simply left Madden and the decedent Rodriguez Burks, in the same cell knowing that harm would result" to Burks, the lawsuit states. The 21 defendants, all staff members of Michigan Department of Corrections, include Warden Catherine S. Bauman, Deputy Warden Robert Wickstrom and Prison Administrator Dean Potilla.

Burks, then 23, was found face-down in his cell on July 20, 2017, dead from severe head trauma. At the time of his death, he was serving a two-year sentence for fleeing and eluding officers, and was killed nine months before he was eligible for parole.

Madden, now 23, was serving time for carjacking, armed robbery, and assault with intent to commit murder.

The lawsuit also claims the prison staff failed to protect Burks by conducting timely checks on his well-being despite knowledge of the threats against him, and also failing to respond to the assault he suffered. 

Burks was African-American (as is Madden). The lawsuit in question alleges the prison failed to have policies in place to protect homosexuals or African-Americans from harm.

As reported by M Live, the lawsuit seeks $75,000 in damages for each of four counts, including gross negligence, racial discrimination and cruel and unusual punishment.

h/t: http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2018/05/estate_of_gay_prisoner_murdere.html

h/t: http://www.newnownext.com/gay-michigan-prison-murder-lawsuit-homophobic-cellmate/06/2018/?xrs=synd_twitter_logo

Denver Couple Attacked & Stabbed In Apparent Hate Crime

A gay couple was attacked and stabbed in an apparent hate crime on Saturday night in Denver, Colorado.

Christopher Giovanni Huizar, 19, and Gabriel Enrique Roman, 23, were walking to their downtown home after spending the evening at the Church Nightclub when a man screamed “fucking faggots” at the men.

Huizar says he felt a “punch” only to discover he’d been stabbed in the neck. Roman jumped in to protect his boyfriend and was stabbed in his hand. 

The couple began to run from the attacker, but Roman was stabbed again, this time in the back.

After escaping the attacker, the two men collapsed against the side of a building crying and bleeding.

“I was just worried about my boyfriend because he bled so much,” said Huizar.

Eventually a pair of passersby found the couple and called for emergency services.

At the hospital, Roman’s injuries required 30 internal stitches and 52 stitches on his hand.

The men told the local NBC affiliate that the attack will only strengthen their relationship. “We are not letting his define us. We love each other and wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone else,” said Huizar.

According to Denver Police, a man has been arrested for the crime and is being held on charges of aggravated assault. Police say the attack is being investigated as a hate crime.

The couple, who will celebrate their first year together on Wednesday, have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for their extensive medical bills and lost wages  work.

Watch the report from NBC 9News below.



(h/t Gay Star News)

A Gay Couple Were Attacked By Two Unidentified Men For Holding Hands In Public


A Scottish gay couple were attacked while walking outside a night club.

32-year-old Andy Millin and 26-year-old Cameron Stringer were attacked after leaving CC Blooms in Edinburgh, Scotland on Sunday at 3am.

As Millin told the Scottish Sun:

"We crossed the road holding hands and there was a couple of guys behind us. One of them ran up and kicked Cameron in the back. He was about to attack him but my first instinct was to get him out of the way. I got punched and then I blacked out."

Millin says that one of the men then punched Stringer while he wasn’t looking. They both sustained minor injuries because of this.

Afterwards the two men ran away down Leith Walk.

The couple later called the police once they got home, but were disappointed when officers only showed up to their home around 1:30 pm the next day.

That said, police say that they are investigating this attack and treating it as a hate crime. On top of that, a Police Scotland spokeswoman announced that they are studying CCTV to identify the two attackers.

"Police are investigating after two men were assaulted in the street in Edinburgh city centre in the early hours of Sunday morning on May 20," she said.

"At around 2.45am the men, in their 20s and 30s, were kicked and punched on Union Street by two other men who ran off along Leith Walk. "Officers are carrying out inquiries and this incident is being treated as a hate crime."

Nine Trans People Have Been Killed in the U.S. This Year

The strangling death of 26-year-old Carla Patricia Flores-Pavón last week is the ninth known murder of a transgender person in the U.S. this year. The Human Rights Campaign has tracked violence against trans people and non-binary people since 2013. Last year, at least 28 transgender people were killed, a record since tracking began.

These are the nine transgender victims of fatal violence in 2018:

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, was known throughout her North Adams, Massachusetts community as an activist. She founded and organized the Miss Trans New England pageant. She was found stabbed and beaten to death in her home on January 5. Her husband, Mark Steele-Knudslien, 47, was charged with the crime.

Viccky Gutierriez, 33, from Honduras, was a member of TransLatin@ Coalition’s Los Angeles organization. She was stabbed to death before her home was set on fire on January 10. Kevyn Ramirez, 29, faces the possibility of life in prison for the crime.

Tonya Harvey, 35, was shot to death in Buffalo, New York on February 6. Police initially identified Harvey as male before releasing an updated report. They are now investigating the murder as a possible hate crime.

Celine Walker, 36, was found dead from a gunshot wound in a Jacksonville, Florida hotel on February 4. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office misgendered Walker at first, claiming they do not identify victims as transgender. Authorities are still looking for a suspect.

Zakaria Fry, 28, and roommate Eugene Ray, 70, went missing from their New Mexico home in mid-January. Their bodies were discovered 40 miles outside of Albuquerque on February 19. Charles Spiess, 32, was arrested and charged with two counts of murder.

Phylicia Mitchell, 45, was shot to death outside her home in Cleveland, Ohio on February 23. On April 10, Cleveland.com reported that Gary Sanders, 36, was charged with aggravated murder in Mitchell’s death. The slaying is believed to be drug-related. "She was a good person,” her longtime partner Shane Mitchell told the Cleveland press. “Even though she had a drug problem, she's a good person. She got mixed up with the wrong people.”

Amia Tyrae Berryman, 28, was fatally shot in a Baton Rouge, Louisiana hotel March 26. Police have no suspects at this time. Local TV station WBRZ-TV 2 misgendered Berryman when first reporting the crime.

Sasha Wall, 29, was found dead from multiple bullet wounds in her still-running car on Easter Sunday in the sandhills of South Carolina. No arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation, but local media  have reported a lead. Local station WSOC-TV misidentified Wall as male.

Carla Patricia Flores-Pavón, 26, was fatally strangled in her Dallas apartment on May 9. A man was seen leaving her apartment shortly before she was found. A source told local station CBS 11 the victim had recently connected with a man in a chat room.  An investigation is underway. Dallas police say there is no evidence of a hate crime.


Seven of these women were women of color. Violence disproportionately impacts trans people of color, who are uniquely vulnerable due to a struggle for basic living needs like employment, housing and healthcare in the crosshairs of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.

Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Miami Beach Pride Attackers

On the afternoon of April 8, two gay men were the target of a violent anti-LGBT attack that occurred in Miami Beach shortly after the city's Pride Parade.

The couple, Dmitry Logunov and Rene Chalarca, were severely beaten by four men as they walked home after celebrating LGBT Pride.

Surveillance cameras outside the Miami Beach bathroom, located near the beach along Ocean Drive and Sixth Street, recorded the assault.

The victims said they were targeted for their sexual orientation as their assailants yelled gay slurs during the attack.

In addition, Helmut Muller Estrada, a good samaritan who jumped in trying to stop the attack, was also seriously injured requiring a hospital visit.

At the time, Estrada told the press: “To step up for those guys, I thought it was the right thing to do. I try my best. On sex and religion, I hope they get along someday.”

Only three days after the beating, thanks to surveillance photos that went viral thanks to social media, the four men turned themselves in to Miami Beach Police via a lawyer. 

At the time, they were charged with felony aggravated battery.

Today, The Miami Herald is reporting Miami-Dade prosecutors have now filed the enhanced aggravated battery with prejudice hate crime charges.

If convicted each of the men - Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa, 21, Luis Alonso-Piovet, 20, Juan C. Lopez, 21, and Adonis Diaz, 21 - could face up to 30 years in prison.

Watch the report below from the local CBS affiliate.




15-20 years for targeting gay men on Grindr and assaulting them!

We’ve been following this story for over a year and it seems that the criminals behind these horrible hate crimes will be behind bars for a very long time. Earlier this year we reported that Nigel Garrett and Chancler Encalade pleaded guilty to posing as gay men on the hook up app Grindr in order to invade, assault, rob gay men around Frisco, Plano, and Aubrey, Texas last year.

But Garrett and Encalade were only two in a group of four men who were responsible for these hate crimes. Anthony Shelton, 20, and Cameron Ajiduah, 19, were also part of the crimes against gay men.

Earlier this week, Shelton and Ajiduah were finally sentenced, according to the official press release by the Department of Justice.

Shelton was sentenced to 20 years in prison while Ajiduah was sentenced to 15 years. Both men admitted that as a group they targeted gay men and arranged to meet with them.

The press release states:

Upon entering the victim’s home, the defendants restrained the victim with tape, physically assaulted him, and made derogatory statements about the victim’s sexual orientation.  The defendants brandished a firearm during the home invasion, and they stole the victim’s property, including his motor vehicle.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division said:

The Department of Justice will not tolerate any act of violence targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, religion, disability, or national origin. The Department will continue to investigate and prosecute hate crimes cases.

h/t: official press release by the Department of Justice


A Washington D.C. Gay Hate Crime Victim Had His Broken Teeth Fixed For Free

Last month, we shared with you the tragic news that two gay men were attacked on a populated Washington, D.C. street known as U Street.

Now, we’re happy to share with you the story of one dentist’s effort to right a portion of the wrong done to one of those two men.

When we reported the story to you and shared a video of the attack, we also included the fact that the men sustained injuries such as a broken nose, broken bones, and a chipped tooth. Specifically, it was one of those men, Zach Link, who sustained the broken nose and teeth.

At first, Link's new appearance alarmed him. Thankfully, he was then contacted by Dr. Christopher Banks at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry, because the good man wanted to fix his teeth at no cost.

After meeting and being treated by Dr. Bank, Link made a post on Facebook to express how grateful he was to the man.

In the post, he said:

“All I did that night was cry about how my teeth had been broken. It has been a lot more difficult mentally to see and feel my damaged teeth than I wanted to admit. Dito was able to connect me with this outstanding man, Christopher Banks, who completely donated his time and talents to bring my smile back, even for continued follow ups if something happens to them down the road. So, I just want to say that I am forever grateful for him and for the care he gave me at Capital Cosmetic Dentistry.”

Then recently, according to ABC news’s Washington affiliate WJLA, Capital Cosmetic Dentistry released a statement about Dr. Banks and Mr. Link:

“While Dr Banks certainly did not render his services for the benefit of himself or CCD, we certainly appreciate the recognition.

When Dr Banks was contacted by Dito Sevilla regarding the hateful crime Zach Link suffered, his response was immediate: he wanted to help. Chris reached out to Zach and expressed that he “would love to help” and render assistance. As a dentist who prides himself on the art of his cosmetic dentistry AND as a member of the LGBTQ community, Dr Banks met with Zach and proceeded to restore his smile. Zach came in with remarkable and visible damage to several of his front teeth, the result of severe and aggressive punching and kicking to his face. Zach came into the office and after a few hours walked out of with a restored smile.

As a parting personal note, Dr Banks wants it to be known: “this community is beautiful in its resilience and desire to support each other. In a day and age wherein we shake our heads and proclaim hate and violence toward the LGBTQ is senseless and barbaric, we all know it still happens and all we can do is try to help each other pick up the pieces in the aftermath. Without knowing the depth, breadth and expense of Zach’s injuries, I reached out and offered full care because we are all members of a powerful loving LGBTQ community before anything else. It is through these acts of love in the face of hate that we will persist, thrive, and succeed in showing the world we want to be ‘one’.”

We're happy to hear this tragic event was made right, even if just a little.

An Australian Gay Man Barely Just Escapes With His Life After He And His Sister Were Attacked

A gay man from Australia is recovering in the hospital after he and his sister were viciously attacked by a random stranger off the street.

On Sunday April 15, 25-year-old Bradley Skinner and his sister Amanda were enjoying a night out. Together, they had enjoyed dinner and drinks at a bowling club in Mackay Region, Northern Queensland, Australia.

“I was two bites into my pizza around when this young man I had never seen before slowly walked past us glaring at me,’ Skinner told Daily Mail Australia.

“Then he called me a f****t as I looked up at him”

Skinner took the insult in stride as he’s used to such treatment from his job as a miner, but his sister was not so accepting.

“My sister doesn't take too kindly to it so she got up and said 'what the hell'.

"He ended up hitting her in the face... and it all went on from there and he got out this chain and started whacking me with it."

As reported by Daily Mercury, Skinner was hit by the bicycle chain several times including on his head, his arm, and on his leg.

"When he hit me on the head, that's when I blacked out," Skinner continued.

"I remember trying to vomit, and I think someone tried to put me on my side... I remember the ambos shining a light in my eyes, that's when I started coming to.

"I couldn't open my eyes but I could hear everything that was going on."

Meanwhile, his sister Amanda was hysterical. She says that the tried to pull the 20-something-year-old man away from her brother to no avail. At the time, she thought her brother was dead or quickly dying, as he was unconscious and blood was pouring out of his head.

After the man left, Skinner was rushed to Mackay Base Hospital to get treatment. Doctors were able to treat Skinner and figure out that he had a case of vertigo and not brain damage.

Again, Skinner is used to working in an extremely masculine environment due to his job working in the mines near Moranbah. He says he’s been based twice, so he’s often on guard.

“I love who I am but I have been intimidated, I'm embarrassed going into the dining hall at work...It's a very manly environment," he said.

"It's just sad that someone would try to wreck someone else's night, me being gay in this town I get it a lot, so I'm used to getting name called."

Bradley Skinner lives in Mackay to be close to family, but he’s been considering moving for some time now. This incident will only push further his thoughts of leaving town and switching careers to real estate in order to find a “safer environment.”

In the meantime, police are still investigating the incident.

Instinct Magazine has reached out ot the Skinners for comment, and will update you all should they respond.