Over the past week I have been bombarded with comments and concerns regarding the Fabio Brandao case. I have found it hard to keep up with all of the messages. Facebook is really an amazing outreach tool and people have “friended” me from all over the country from all walks of life. Most people want to let me know that they stand with me, that they support the “cause” or that they have been attacked themselves and appreciate all that I am doing to get the word out.
I have been asked for comments from newspapers and bloggers, some want to know how I am doing (perfectly fine) and others want to know why I am speaking out about the sentence. My response in this case is always the same… “This case is bigger than me.”
Today somebody commented on my Facebook wall, a good friend of mine actually, saying “Put it to bed,” implying that I needed to give up the fight. If this fight was just about me, I would have given up fighting the day that Brandao was sentenced. Sure I am upset that he isn’t serving any time in jail, but I have since moved to DC and I will never see this man again so, why do I care? I am sometimes lazy to a fault in my personal life, so why would I be going through all of this if I was the only one affected.
The reason I care is because THIS CASE IS BIGGER THAN ME! This case sends a message that hate is okay, feel free to hate a group of people because of who they are. Feel free to attack men and women on the street because they are different than you. Feel free to stomp on their heads, and punch people in the face.
I am speaking out because of the message the sentence sends, and I am speaking out because I am worried about the next person who may be attacked. The next group of friends walking home one night, celebrating friendship, enjoying each others company… when suddenly a friend is punched, and another is attacked from behind, the attackers scream out obscenities and refer to the man they are kicking in the head as a “fucking faggot.” The man lying in the street is surrounded by his friends as the car drives off and life has changed for this group of people.
What I have to say to my friend is picture yourself as the man laying unconscious in the middle of the street next time. Picture yourself waking up in the hospital not remembering anything. Imagine how your friends feel seeing you knocked out in the middle of Columbus Avenue simply because you are gay. If Fabio Brandao and his friends had you on the list next, would you be fine with me “putting the issue to bed?”