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Gay Bashing Victim Recovers While Community Is On Edge

We are not safe. LGBTQ+ from rural Wyoming to the neighborhoods of South Florida, we are surrounded by people who hate us. Some are open, like the Proud Boys and white supremacists. Others are anonymous cowards, like the ones who attacked Greg Briedenbach, called him faggot, and left him for dead on the side of a road in Coconut Grove. He now has metal plates in his head and invisible scars that will likely never heal. No arrests have been made. Greg was doing what many of us do every week. After an evening out with friends, he was walking home from a favorite bar – feeling safe and not thinking twice. We feel safe in our neighborhoods and in our routines. This is a stark reminder that we always have to be on the lookout. Anti-LGBTQ+ bigots don’t always wear red hats, but are empowered by those that do. Your mechanic, your waiter, your neighbor.. could just be faking it. We can’t take our safety for granted. Wilton Manors’ assistant police chief, Darren Brodsky, shared advice that’s worth remembering: stay in well lit areas. Don’t walk alone. Tell friends the route you are taking. Be aware of your surroundings. You can read more on Greg’s struggle in this week’s Out South Florida, online and on stands now.

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