A Pensacola, Florida high school student was recently attacked and suffered a black eye and a broken nose. The reason? According to Pink News, his classmate thought that he was gay because he's a dancer. Regardless of whether he's gay or not (he doesn't identify as gay), there is no excuse for anyone to assault someone other than self-defense.
Jaiden Muniz-Walls was the victim of the attack which took place in a classroom by his fellow classmate who has not been identified. Muniz-Walls did not fight back but instead put his arms up to defend himself. He was attacked because of his interest in dancing which made his classmate assume that he's gay. His attacker has been faced with a misdemeanor assault charge, but Jaiden's mother thinks that it is not enough. She wants to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again, as she recognizes that there may be some students in the Pensacola school who are gay and are afraid to admit it because of the fear of being assaulted.
It's no secret that LGBTQ people (and perceived LGBTQ people) are disproportionately affected by violence, as the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs states that in 2017 there was an 86% increase in hate violence from 2016. In addition to that, Randy Slovacek has written about how schools are still unsafe for LGBTQ people in his post "Survey Shows Progress For LGBTQ High Schoolers Is Slowing Down." Other studies have shown that teachers who identify as LGBT are also subject to hate. It's a sad reality but a reality that we all live in.
However, this sad reality doesn't have to exist. Educating people on LGBTQ topics is a good place to start, and once that has been taught, perhaps we should teach people to be mindful of other's interests to prevent things like this from happening again.