Police are still searching for a gay Florida State University student who went missing almost two weeks ago, leading some to speculate the family’s reluctance to confirm his homosexuality may be hindering the search.
According to reports, 23-year-old Ryan Uhre watched the first half of the Super Bowl with his fraternity brothers at a local Tallahassee bar. He left the bar at halftime to pick up an order of to-go food “a few doors down” at Andrew’s Bar & Grill and subsequently vanished.
Uhre, a psychology student and law school hopeful, was reportedly last seen leaving the bar wearing a Hawaiian shirt. His fraternity brothers told Local 10 it wasn’t unusual for him to disappear for weekends, but called police as soon as he didn’t show for work on February 7.
The media initially did not report the fact that Uhre is gay, a point South Florida Gay News publisher Norm Kent thinks could be crucial in solving the case. “He came out to his gay high school teacher a few years ago,” Kent wrote in an editorial, adding that Uhre’s father refused to discuss his son’s disappearance with the gay media:
Every news story is painfully short of facts, beyond that he was seen leaving Andrew’s Capital Grille and then a convenience store, in Tallahassee, alone. And no one is using the ‘gay word,’ which is sheer stupidity. It is the clue that could help us find him, or at the very least, give us a place to look.
Tragically, even his own father, traumatized by his son’s disappearance, won’t discuss his son’s sexuality. Three times on Tuesday, he hung up on me, stating that a discussion of this sort “won’t help anything.” Yes, it might, dad. Unfortunately, pained though you are, this lead could very well help open up hidden doors. Young gay men and women have been hiding behind them for too long.
Kent more or less hints that because Uhre was not “openly gay” to everyone he knew, he could possibly be the victim of the type of crime police are not currently looking into, whether it be a hate crime, gay abduction, etc.
Anyone with information about Ryan Uhre is urged to contact the Tallahassee Police Department at 850-606-5800 or call CrimeStoppers at 850-574-TIPS to remain anonymous.