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Queer youth attacked last weekend in gay bashing

Kayla Stone

In breaking news from Just Out, it is being reported that 21-year-old Kayla Stone, a musician and activist, was assaulted in downtown Portland in an apparent gay bashing last Sunday July 3rd, according to police.

The previous night a group of men had harassed her outside of Embers on NW Broadway and Burnside, calling her “dyke” and following her for several blocks as she left. She fended them off with strong words but when she returned Saturday night the same group recognized her and began beating her without provocation. The only person she remembers very clearly is the one who threw the first punch, a Latino man with a teardrop tattoo by his eye.

Stone also says that witnesses did nothing to assist her. Even when she made her way to The Escape, the all ages gay nightclub and a stop on the Q Patrol route, Stone says she was mostly ignored. Stone said two police cars circled the block, but neither stopped to help. Eventually she,

…went to the Escape because…several weeks before, the Q Patrol was out there and I volunteered for them. They were against all of that. They didn’t want to talk of anything that had anything to do with Q Patrol. They were like, “We’re trying to have our bomb ass party right now and you’re fucking it up.”

Someone there eventually called 911 and Stone reported the incident to police. She was then taken to OHSU but left before she could be evaluated or treated because she didn’t want to minimize her injuries with stitches. She even kept her plans to perform at a 4th of July p:ear youth event saying,

I’ve gotten fucked with, coming out and changing, being who I am. I’m not trying to justify anything that occurs, but the point is that the revolution is not glamorous. It means continuing to do what you say you’re going to do no matter what.

Stone was also particularly proud that she never fell to the ground during her attack.

Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police said that while the lack of details make for a challenging investigation, the case has been assigned to Detective Kevin Warren and is being treated as a bias crime until there is reason to suspect otherwise.

“Where it stands right now is its an open investigation. We don’t have any other additional witness, so it’s hard to verify exactly when it happened, exactly how many people were there and where,” Simpson said. “It’s a little challenging from an investigative standpoint.”

They have promised to check into surveillance footage in nearby areas.

3 comments to Queer youth attacked last weekend in gay bashing

  • Has anyone from The Escape been contacted for comment, that you know of? If that was their response, it is completely unacceptable, particularly give that the club is viewed (to my knowledge) as a haven for all youth. If it isn’t, we need to know that.

  • The Escape’s voicemail is still full as of this morning and they cannot be reached for comment.

  • Can the author of this piece go down to the bar? Lots of bars don’t answer their phones.