Anti-gay violence is always horrible news. So when The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCVAP) reported an increase in “robberies, druggings, [and] sexual violence” among persons who met others on hook-up services like Craigslist and Grindr, I wanted to find a silver lining. The data suggests anti-gay attackers are becoming more tech-savvy (a scary thought), but it also suggests the gay community and our allies are becoming smarter about online cruising, making it safer to find a no-strings hook-up. In fact, there are at least three ways the increase in anti-gay cyber-bashing could be good news for everyone.
But let me get this out of the way: By no means are these attacks a good thing. Given that they happen regardless of how we feel about them, there are ways to turn them into teaching moments.