“I was just walking my friend back from the drag show that was being put on,” Michael Bustin said to WLWT. ”We were both holding hands for a few seconds. There was nothing to it. We were just holding hands.”
Bustin heard someone yell a derogatory anti-gay slur before four men walked up to his friend.
“Out of nowhere, he started punching (my friend). I got in the way of the two, saying we wanted to go home. We didn’t want any harm. Then, I got sucker punched twice in the face,” Bustin said.
University of Cincinnati students are partnering with Miami University students for a dual rally against the hate crime. Community members are asked to gather Thursday, April 5, at 5 p.m., at the Phi Delt Gates at Miami University or at the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Clifton Avenue at the University of Cincinnati. Attendees should wear a white shirt or top to represent unity for peace, as well as bring signs that call for an end to hate crimes against our community.
“This type behavior is unacceptable,” said Blake Jelley, president of UC Alliance and an organizer of the rally. “Nobody should fear showing affection while walking around a campus area.”
Openly gay Cincinnati City Council member Chris Seelbach released the following statement denouncing the hate crime at Miami University:
This isn’t the first time Cincinnati-area activists have had to organize like this. In an eerily similar April 2010 attack, two Miami University students were assaulted at the same annual drag show after anti-gay hate slurs were shouted at them. In March 2009, a UC student was attacked on campus when a visiting student found out he is gay.
I’m from Cincinnati. UC is my alma mater. This is why I don’t live there anymore. I’ve been to the drag show where these students were attacked, and I got really upset with myself for not being more upset about this. I’ve become desensitized to it. People in our community being attacked or dying is just something that happens. It’s a fact of our lives. I’ve had to write about this too many times. We’ve had to organize like this too many times. I’m so proud of our dedicated activists back home, but we need to be preemptive. How do we change our culture so this doesn’t keep happening?