I must admit, it is a horrible thing to be beaten and killed for what you are and something you can't change. What we can do is make the best out of this situation. Right now will be the time when the government and people in general are feeling more sympathetic to victims of hate crimes. We need to take action now to ensure that tighter laws concerning hate crimes are imposed.

I have never been the victim of any physical abuse for my views. I have had all the names and whatnot applied to me, it's rather difficult not to with a name like Leslie. That part that is annoying is that I'm not even gay. I stand up for what I believe in and that just happens to be gay rights. I could not even begin to imagine what kind of intimidation this event has for openly gay people. I've heard some horrible coming-out stories and I have to ask, isn't this enough? Many are aban-doned by friends and family for what they are. Why should it be the right of some-one to do physical harm to anyone for any reason? Until there are more people, that aren't necessarily queer, willing to stand up for what they believe in we are going to keep seeing hate crimes occur. Sure, there will probably be gay-bashing no matter what but punishment may become more severe. It's too early still to tell what is going to happen in this case, but all of us can keep our fingers crossed.

Leslie

wakeup@udel.edu