The below is a response to comments on Facebook regarding the recent bashing of a young man at Illinois State University. He is recovering, short three teeth and with two jaw fractures (resulting in his jaw being wired shut), and hopes to return to school soon.
That members of our community remain vulnerable saddens me. Between the stereotypes that we "can't fight back" and that "LGBT-folk don't matter to society or law enforcement", we're in a bad place as (at least in popular myth) safe targets for bullying and bigotry.
When we realize that not only (per the Supreme Court) do police and/or campus security folks have no duty to specifically protect any of us, but even should they be so inspired that more than likely by the time they can - under the best and most motivated of all possible circumstances - normally arrive just about in time to take reports from survivors and witnesses, do crowd control, and take notes for the investigators (who arrive yet later)...doing little or no good for the real victim laying on the pavement.
Finally, we fail ourselves as a community when we ostracize either those within our community who urge us to seek out realistic means of self-defense and safety strategy. Different individuals will face different ethical, philosophical, and legal issues depending on a variety of factors - but strategies include "run away, run away" at one end... and taking the steps necessary to competently and lawfully carry a blade or a firearm (or both) at the other.
Depriving ourselves of an honest discussion of options, particularly those that balance the difference in capabilities between a 4'5" 80lb twink or an asthmatic elder vs. those presented by a young, healthy, and musclebound aggressor (and/or several of his/her best friends), is a betrayal of both ourselves and our community.
I am saddened - and I am angry. It is long past time to break the cycle and shatter the stereotype of the LGBT community as a group of designated defenseless and helpless (and thus safe) victims.