ThunderBay homophobia attack

Doubtless you have seen this story already. It is horrific.

Jake Raynard was attacked in Port Arthur, part of what is now Thunder Bay Ontario. The initial reaction is that this attack was motivated by hate, homophobia in this case.
Thunder Bay, ON -- On Friday night, a violent attack in the Port Arthur downtown core put a man in hospital with serious injuries. Jake Raynard states, "So the facts. I was assaulted by a gang outside the pier. I managed to get some other people to safety, but not myself. I had bricks thrown at my head, shattering my cheek, eyesocket, and resulting in a broken jaw".

Montreal Simon has been on this story as has been Queer Liberal. Xtra is on it too.

Im more than a little ticked at this right now...


Anonymous said...

In the quote from Jake, a word has been omitted and I don't know why. "Native". He said he was attacked by a native gang. I feel that's important because it creates the possibility that this was a race-related hate crime rather than a sexual orientation one. Possibly even a combination of both.

Anonymous said...

Okay enough is enough lets play hard ball boys. Downtown Port Arthur has become a dangerous place to be at almost anytime. Where are the cops,we want them on the street before citizens take up the task to do their job, and we all know that is not a good way to go, so lets get some police presents. To the native gang that attacked him let it be knowen that this is your community also , this is not just a place to cause trouble it is a place where your children will live and have a chance at a good life and they may also be gay ,so where is your respect for them and what are you doing to build them a good life. you are not going to win this fight, we will , the community. think about what you have done and what shame you have brought upon your families. you need to pay for what you have done one way or another so start paying back now by changing your attitude and get involved in doing things that will reflect a noble and respectful light on you and yours.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you two have used the word native, because to be honest the natives in this town bash us white people more than anything. Why do we stand for it, we don't but if we talk about them calling us racial slurs it's turned onto us calling them names. its ridiculous. There are "gangs" of natives every corner you turn in this town. How ofetn do you see a group of intoxicated white people hassling everyone on the corner for money, smokes etc.???? You don't and thats the point. I want statistics on crime in this city--I'm sure the truth would be quite obvious! This was both, racial and sexual orientation hate crime. I am not surprised one bit that this has happened.

Anonymous said...

This incident is disgusting. I am sick & tired of everyone being afraid to say when a NATIVE has done something wrong - a gang of NATIVES BEAT this poor man with a BRICK for crying out loud. How are they ever going to be caught if Jake can't even give a statement to the public with an accurate description?? I just hope Jake is able to heal - inside & out.

Ricky Barnes said...

I know this is a hot issue. I can see clearly that the culprits were native or first nations people. That said, I expect there will need to be some discussions with not only the first nation communities but in the broader community as well.

The issue here looks to be the result of homophobia and hate motivated by homophobia. Lets try to concentrate on supporting Jake, demanding the police pursue hate crime charges in addition to assault charges.

Homophobia in Thunder Bay is likely similar to many Canadian communities and not limited to any one sector of those communities.

Strong action is required by the police, community and those that live in these communities.

What happened to Jake could easily happen to any queer individual anywhere in Canada.

We may have achieved a level of legal protections, we are still far from being treated with respect and equality.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe it's been proven that the men who attacked Jake were native. I doubt it is a race crime. They didn't say anything anti-white, they made homophobic comments. It was on the one night of the week the bar he and his friends came out of, had a mixed gay and straight night. White people on the street ask me(I'm white)for money and cigarettes all the time, as well as native. People don't always have a lot of money in Thunder Bay. People here love to smoke like it's the 1960s. They also love to drink, any race in Thunder Bay does.
What's this in the article about Jake working at Ruby Moon? I thought he was only visiting from Toronto to attend his nephew's birthday.