FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2014
Jenabi Pareja, Coordinator, BAYAN USA Queer Caucus, firstname.lastname@example.org
Irma Salvatierra Bajar, Vice Chair of International Relations, GABRIELA NY – USA, email@example.com
BAYAN USA Queer Caucus & GABRIELA – USA Stands in Solidarity with Gay Filipino Journalist Randy Gener and the LGBTQ Community
The BAYAN USA Queer Caucus (QC), a committee of LGBTQ-identified members of BAYAN USA, and GABRIELA NY – USA, an alliance of organizations representing Filipina women across the United States, stand in solidarity with the friends and family of openly out gay journalist, Randy Gener, who was brutally attacked walking home from a party on January 17th. Having sustained massive head trauma, Randy remains hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit after surviving brain surgery. The resulting outpour of support shown through vigils, fundraising campaigns and organizational endorsements from the many communities Randy’s life has touched is a beautiful example of community power for our kababayan in need.
It has been documented by the media surrounding the attack, that Randy’s family and friends believe him to be the victim of a hate crime since his wallet and phone remained untouched, negating the possibility of robbery as motive. While a suspect has been apprehended for questioning, due in large part to growing community and media pressure on the New York Police Department (NYPD) and its commissioner, William Bratton, to investigate the case, both the BAYAN USA QC and GABRIELA – USA understands that the prosecution of an individual doesn’t address the root causes of violence that impact the lives of LGBTQ people on a daily basis.
Our hope is that that we, as community, keep the dialogue going around how to create and support the sustainability of safe communities for all people regardless of identity or perceived-identity. We call on our kababayan to brainstorm ideas of safety that move beyond the false sense of security that an increased NYPD-presence in our neighborhoods would bring – because it’s been widely documented the NYPD’s abuse of its Stop and Frisk policy to unjustly criminalize the lives of young men of color, and in particular the lives of LGBTQ people of color. Says BAYAN USA QC member representing GABRIELA NY – USA, Lolan Buhain Sevilla, “Creating safe communities is about addressing root causes – providing access to economic stability, safe housing, as well as access to health and human services. What it is not, is the band-aid solution of imposing a militarized state upon the most vulnerable and impacted of our communities.” It is also about re-thinking how we hold accountable individuals who commit violent crimes, to rehabilitate rather than create repeat offenders, as we’ve seen happen again and again through the Prison Industrial Complex.
The BAYAN USA Queer Caucus and GABRIELA – USA hopes to be part of these conversations. We will remain committed until the day we no longer have to bear the brunt of devastation that hate crime violence weights upon our communities; when we can walk down sidewalks without fear for our lives. We call on our communities and allies to join us in these conversations, interventions and implementation of practices, to ensure not one more of us has to live in fear – for Randy Gener. For Islan Nettles. For CeCe McDonald. For Mark Carson. And the countless others who remain nameless and unaccounted for.