Gay Bombing in Atlanta by Jon Michaelsen
It’s gay history month, and I’ve been reading a lot about the more publicized events and people that made history and helped shape gay culture, but I’ve also been looking for some of the less publicized events as well…things we don’t hear about as often but were just as significant. And in this essay by gay author, Jon Michaelsen, I found something I didn’t know. And it sets the stage for a lot of the fear and PTSD many gay people have learned to live with as well as a result of hate and crimes against gays. It’s not spoken about often…or at least not as often as it should be…but events like the following affects us far more than we realize at the time, and in some cases may affect the rest of our lives.
The essay, a true story, describes a violent incident in Atlanta, GA, where a lesbian bar was attacked with a bomb in 1997. And when you read about how this bombing affected the author it’s indicative of the way these incidents affect everyone in the gay community. I’ve experienced these emotions myself on many occasions.
When I heard about the bombing the morning after, I felt an incredible fear, first for my possible friends who might have been in the bar that night, then as the day wore on, a gnawing, painful anxiety that had reached to my very core of my soul. It was though members of my family -my extended family – had been directly targeted and harmed simply because of whom they were, whom they chose to love. In the most harrowing, cowardly fashion, some sick, bigoted, ignorant, weak coward (and a few more choice words best not printed here…) had come out to kill us, our community in a failed attempt to proclaim we did not matter.
You can read the rest of the piece here. Michaelsen even offers a quote from the bomber, Eric Rudolph, that shows how deeply the hate sometimes goes. Rudolph, a serial bomber, has also been referred to as the Olympic Park Bomber.
And here’s a NYT link to more about the bombing in 1997.