Texas is a big state. I absolutely love Austin, but there's more to see in Texas besides Austin, no? I've always wanted to see Dallas as well as San Antonio. Since September, Dallas has been taking itself off of the must see cities in the Lone Star State. With "reported" gay bashing occurring more than there have been months, Dallas and Oak Lawn may not be getting a visit from me any time soon.
DALLAS – Police are investigating the attack of a man in Oak Lawn that may be motivated by the victim's perceived sexual orientation. Craig Knapp, 50, tells WFAA he was walking his neighbor's dog early Saturday when two men approached him outside his apartment building. According to a Dallas Police report, the attack occurred in 4100 block of Cedar Springs Road just after 4 a.m. on April 30. Knapp says one of the men asked the name of the dog and after he replied, one of the suspects used a gay slur and began hitting him in the face.
"I wanted to get out alive, plain and simple," Knapp said.
He says he offered the two suspects his phones and cash but says they didn't take it. His attack is a fresh wound for a neighborhood working to heal from months of violence that started with an attack on a man after the pride parade last September. Increased safety measures have put in place in Oak Lawn in response to more than a dozen attacks on gay men dating back to September 2015.
Lee Daugherty is an Oak Lawn business owner and resident, active working to make the neighborhood safer. "This community knows these are hate crimes," Daugherty said.
The Dallas Police Department increased patrols, added cameras and improved lighting last fall. DPD says a detective will be assigned the investigation on Monday, where it could be determined if the attack was motivated by hate.
"I don't think this community is asking for anything special from the Dallas Police Department," Daugherty said. "We appreciate their help but one thing we don't have is any arrests, still to this day."
Daugherty was among several neighborhood advocates who formed a Volunteers In Patrol class, in conjunction with Dallas PD in December, the first VIP program in an entertainment district in Dallas.
Knapp's deep cuts and scrapes are healing – not so for the injuries you can not see.
"It's now an anger that I feel and I am not an angry guy." – khou.com
It's easy for me to just not go to Dallas, but what about the individuals that live and love there? What are they to do?
Do we give out free pepper spray next to the condoms and lube in the bars?
Do we see if Uber can give some gay discounts so LGBTers are more apt to use the service, rather than walk in their own neighborhoods?
It's sad that we have to think about arming ourselves or changing our ways because of others' stupidity and hatred of us.
John Anderson, the volunteer featured in our report, says there have been at least five additional attacks against LGBT people in the last three weeks in Oak Lawn. But none of the victims have reported the crimes to police. – towleroad.com
But is it really far off of what is considered to be the norm for Dallas? According to neighborhoodscout.com, Dallas is 10% safer than other cities in the United States, of course 100% being the safest. 90% of the other cities in the nation are safer for everyone. For example, the annual study showed that 785 rapes occurred in Dallas, an average of at least 2 every day.
Does this excuse the violence against LGBT citizens? No, but it does show that Dallas seems to be safe for no one. Could we use this anti-LGBT violence as a catalyst to clean up Dallas? It would take a great deal of work, but I am sure there is some pride in Dallas that detests seeing the city portrayed like this. Dallas, it's time to clean up your act. Take the initiative and you will have the support of the LGBT community to make it a place to call home and feel safe in again.