Gay-Bashing in K-Town

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To the editor:

There are a few things I’d like to say to Knoxville; due to limitations of time and space, I’ll try to keep my comments on track.

As a gay man growing up in East Tennessee, life hasn’t always been easy. As I eventually came to terms with my own sexual orientation, I was quick to realize that the environment around me hadn’t, much to my dismay.

On the night of August 7, after just witnessing Fiona Apple’s performance at the Tennessee Theatre, a friend and I decided we’d continue on down to Downtown Grill and Brewery for drinks.

We settled down on the patio next to a group of late-nighters and commenced to enjoy our evening. Halfway through drinks and conversation, a group of three young males walked past. Much to our surprise (as we’d been minding our own business and enjoying each other’s company), one fellow from the group took the opportunity to point at each of us and announce quite loudly, “Homo! Homo!” We both sat there (in horror).

This isn’t the first time I’ve been called a homo. Trust me…I’ve been called much worse. And I’m not just some queer on a soapbox. This isn’t the first time I’ve witnessed such an occurrence unfold in Knoxville. I’m a human being and deserve the same respect and dignity I give others.

When are we going to stop hating each other and literally “pointing” out each other’s differences and begin to love and embrace each other and maybe learn something along the way? Isn’t it about time some of us grow up?

Jason Boone
Knoxville