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Detroit: gay senior paralyzed in homo-hate attack

“This is a hate crime against someone who never had a bad thought against anybody. He sang angelically, he spoke eloquently, he didn’t care what anyone said about Detroit — he thought it was a great place to live.”
— a frantic, sobbing Athena Fedenis, niece of 72-year-old Andrew Anthos, who was brutally attacked with a metal pipe by a man after Anthos declared that he was gay.

Barbara Wilcox, a reporter for PlanetOut/, alerted me to this horrible crime, which she covered here. This is sick.

A gay senior citizen whose passion was to get the Michigan State Capitol dome lit up in red, white and blue clings to life after a hate attack.

The attack in Detroit, Mich., left 72-year-old Andrew Anthos paralyzed from the neck down and virtually without speech.

Anthos, who lives on a disability check, was riding the bus from the public library back to his apartment Feb. 13 when another male passenger approached him and asked if he was gay, Anthos’ niece, Athena Fedenis, told Anthos left the bus only to be followed by the man, who hit him in the back of the head with a metal pipe, then fled.

Anthos is now unconscious, and Wilcox reports that his niece says he’s “slipping away.”

What kind of person would commit such a crime? Not only to gay bash, but to attack a gay senior citizen on top of that? Our society is so lost and depraved when you see this sort of hateful crap over and over again. Yeah, what about that hate crimes legislation?

Shakes had this to say about this case (and another in Boulder) — and the people who are responsible for fomenting the hate.

This shit doesn’t happen in a void. Like the sexualization and objectification of women in the media being psychologically damaging to girls, the constant drumbeat of negative stereotypes and exploitative hatred issued by the GOP and social/religious conservative leaders is dangerous for members of the LGBT community. And the hatemongers’ faux-naïveté at the reality that you can’t continually put a target on someone’s back but expect no one to shoot at it is growing really goddamned old. The hate-the-gays schtick isn’t just infuriating and spiteful and wrong; it’s irresponsible. There’s a paralyzed 72-year-old man and a severely injured 21-year-old woman this week because someone, somewhere, communicated to their attackers the message that gays are not equal, transmitted fear and hatred and claimed they were moral and good.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding