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On Sunday, January 27, a Philadelphia man was assaulted by five people outside of a gay bar while the attackers hurled homophobic slurs at him. ABC affiliate WPVI reports all five attackers are free and at large. The victim was sent to the hospital for head injuries.

The assault took place in front of a gay bar in Philadelphia’s historic LBGTQ district, the Gayborhood. A bartender who witnessed it expressed worry about what this means for Philadelphia’s queer scene: “If this is happening at 13th and Walnut, I don’t know where we’re supposed to feel safe.”

While it is not known if the victim was specifically targeted or not, this attack comes on the heels of a recent spike in violence against queer people, especially queer people of color. January 24 saw the shooting of a black trans woman in Houston. Two days earlier, news broke that Jussie Smollett of Empire fame was attacked in Chicago, a noose tied around his neck and bleach poured on him. Thankfully, nobody lost their life to these attacks.

Colorado is not immune to this kind of prejudice-motivated violence. Last May, a gay couple was non-fatally stabbed in Denver, and the attacker released on bail. State hate crime laws are inclusive of orientation, gender identity, color, and religion, but violence can still happen. The community here in Colorado needs to remain vigilant to keep ourselves safe and visible.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.