There’s been a historic number of violent attacks on gays in New York City in recent months, including the high-profile murder of gay activist Mark Carson two weeks ago.
So, on Sunday, an openly gay member of the New York City Council announced a series of new self-defense classes aimed at equipping members of the city’s gay community to fend off potential attackers.
“This is the kind of violence and frequency and in severity we haven’t seen in a really long time,” said council member Christine Quinn at a gay pride parade Sunday. “It isn’t safe to be gay everywhere in New York City.”
But, in a city that makes it increasingly inconvenient for its citizens – gay or otherwise – to bear arms, the focus of the classes isn’t so much on taking out a would-be attacker as on being aware that you’re about to get jumped.
“The lessons will focus on street smarts more than actual fighting,” notes CBS New York.
Even though the classes are free, the peace of mind that comes from cultivating a heightened sense of awareness that you’re about to become the victim of a hate crime – and that there’s little you can do about it – has to be priceless.