Nathan Runkle, founder & executive director of Mercy for Animals, was brutally attacked recently at a gay nightclub in Dayton.
The press release states Nathan’s wish that sexual orientation be included in Ohio’s hate crimes legislation.
pattrice jones offers two posts about what people can do to help & how we — queer people, vegans, & allies (I note of course that these categories are not mutually exclusive) — can move forward from here:
So, if you’re somebody who cares about or works on LGBTQ issues but has not (yet) integrated the animals into your analysis of oppression, let this attack on a gay man who has dedicated himself to animal rights motivate you to educate yourself about the connections. And, if you’re a straight animal liberationist or veg*n advocate who hasn’t thought deeply about your heterosexual privilege and what obligations you might have to divest yourself of that, let this near-deadly attack on a gay animal advocate remind you (if Proposition 8 and Obama’s selection of a homophobic preacher to speak at his inauguration did not) that homophobia is still alive and dangerous.
In both instances: Educate yourself about the intersections and then figure out how you might integrate what you learn into your activism and your daily life. Those of us who are already hip to that particular intersection ought to realize that there’s always more for us to learn too. Finally, all of us can be inspired by Nathan’s relentless activism and take up the charge to do just a little bit more while he’s recovering from this terrible trauma.
As the press release notes, Mercy for Animals brings an intersectional analysis to its work:
MFA has long worked to bridge the gap between the common prejudices which lead to oppression and abuses faced by both animals and minorities. In recent years MFA has joined gay advocates in gay pride marches by forming human rainbows preceded by banners declaring, “No one is free when others are oppressed.” The organization has also been a lead opponent of gay rodeo events, citing the community’s obligation to protect animals from needless violence.
I’m sure I speak for all the VoC bloggers in expressing sorrow & outrage at this attack, & in wishing Nathan the best.