A series of attacks on gay men on Oxford Street in Canberra has sparked an unusual conflict about the issue of rights. The police will investiage the crimes after two years during which officers have refused to record anti-homosexual violence or investigate brashings. A gay barrrister, David Buchanan, says Oxford Street has become less safe due to the rose of heterosexual clubs and watering clubs on the strip. For many years the area was known as a gay friendly environment, but with the arrival of those not familiar or supportive of gay life, the situation has become dangerous. The bashing of Craig Gee two m onths ago by an Aboriginal has intensified hostility between the two groups. Anger was fueled by a poster that focused on “Reclaim the right to be who you are” that depicted a phalanx of whie men.
GAys feel physically threatened and Aboriginal residents feel insulted by the idea they are responsible as a group for the actions of a few. One Aboriginal told a reporter “the only abuse I’ve had (for being Aboriginal) is from a few white gay guys.” Craig Gee said it was clear from comments by his Aboriginal attackers they were coming after him because he was gay. These incidents and views are no unusual. In the history of racism and prejudice it is not uncommon for those subject to bigotry to find someone else on whom they can dump their anger, usually an indvidual who is also the object of hatred.