Ben Collings Got Beat Up at a College Drag Show. The Cops Say It’s His Fault

At a Saturday night drag show for Spectrum, the University of Miami at Ohio’s GSA, Ben Collings went to use the bathroom, where he overheard others using mean words for gays. A fight ensued, Collings ended up with a broken nose, broken cheek bones, and black eyes, and the police got involved. They also blamed Collings for the fight. He calls it a hate crime. Uh oh.

Ben Collings, a Miami University junior, attended the event with his boyfriend. He says when he was in the restroom, he overheard others using derogatory words for homosexuals. Collings pointed out the event was in the upstairs portion of the StadiUm bar, required a secondary cover charge to enter, and the second floor restrooms were not accessible to those who were on the first floor. He says he overheard some saying, “[Expletives] do not belong in society”. “Tensions escalate, I go to use the restroom, I get pushed, a fight breaks out in the restroom and it kinda filters outside, more people get involved,” said Collings.

Collings said his boyfriend ran across the street to the Oxford Police Department to alert them to the attack while he followed the individuals where a fight ensued. Collings suffered a broken cheek bone, broken nose and receive two black eyes. After the fight, he was taken to the hospital for treatment and underwent numerous tests. He says his injuries may require reconstructive surgery. Oxford Police say it was Collings who initiated the fight, and so far, they have not labeled the crime as a “hate incident” or “hate crime,” but they continue to investigate.


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  • AlwaysGay

    Haterosexuals being haterosexuals… Haterosexuals explicitly state their hatred of gay people, then beat up a gay person (who was outnumbered… typical) who challenges those views and finally haterosexual police shift blame onto the gay victim and brush off the incident.

    Ben shouldn’t have been beat up. At the same time he should have expected a violent reaction. If he was educated on these issues he would have been prepared. There is massive delusion in the gay community involving anything with sexuality. Heterosexuals are troublemakers. That’s a fact. Anti-gay bigotry is created and perpetuated by heterosexuals. How many times do you have to endure anti-gay language thrown at you while you are minding your own business before these things sink in? How many times do you have to hear haterosexuals using anti-gay language to put someone or something down before these things sink in? How many times do you have to hear about gay people getting beat up by gangs of heterosexuals after leaving a gay pride parade before these things sink in? These heterosexual supremacist beliefs are inherent with heterosexuals. That’s why the haterosexual police blamed the gay person. In their mind Ben should have stood by as anti-gay language was thrown around and then not defend himself when physically assaulted. The status quo for gay people is to be subservient, docile and perpetually disadvantaged. I am wishing Ben gets better. To all the gay people reading this, BE PREPARED.

  • Jeremyrh2387

    Not every heterosexual is like that though. There are still a lot of great heterosexuals out there. You can’t stereotype them by saying heterosexuals are trouble makers.

    Also there are heterosexual cops who do care about us. My brother is one of them.

    Jeremy Herring

  • Pat

    Sure, it was his fault. Just like its always been the fault of the black guy for being in the wrong place or saying the wrong thing that got him lynched, right?

  • Michael

    @Pat: Exactly. God forbid a gay man might speak up when someone says “fag” and, of course, the cops are going to blame the victim in this case.

  • Steve

    Let’s see. Several straight guys pay the cover to get into a gay event, then go to the restroom. In the restroom, they wait for a gay guy to enter, use offensive language (slurs) to get a reaction, and then beat him up. Then, the police blame the victim.

    A lawsuit against the Oxford Police Department might be in order. Consult an attorney. At the very least, the police department should be required to provide sensitivity training to all of its officers, and to require the officers to attend.

  • Sam

    @AlwaysGay: Dude, you’re talking about my mom. I’m really sick of you hating on ALL straight people just because some of them are bigoted and violent. My parents and straight friends are awesome, totally supportive of me and of gay rights. I suppose you’ve never met a gay-friendly straight person, and that’s sad, but seriously, the next time you go to a pride parade, hang out with the P-FLAG folks for a while. And chill out.

  • adman

    @Sam: And that gay friendly straight person like your mom is getting ready to go right out and remedy the hate they themselves create against us? Like, when? Starting tomorrow?

    Straight society being the dominant factor in your life is a fact, Sam. Get over yourself and trying to tell us how to think. You sound like them. Not to get pissy, I just don’t know any more ways to tell people sometimes. It’s like half or more of us have stockholm syndrome or something.

  • Sam

    @adman: Um, yeah, both my parents are heavily involved in P-FLAG and have actively campaigned for gay rights. Starting when? Try before I was born. Unitarian Universalists are cool like that.

    I know that there are many hateful straight people, but seriously, “the hate that they themselves create against us”? You’re just lumping a bunch of straight people together with Pat Robertson and his ilk because they’re all straight.

  • Drew

    @adman: You referred to straights as “them”. Its not “us and them”, you seem to be overlooking the fact that we are all people, letting sexuality be the defining factor isn’t a sound way to live as people. While gays are hated by many, I think that instead of bitching/hating straights, we should take the higher road and treat everyone with respect. I’m not Christian at all, but Jesus has some great words that are applicable here: Love those that hate you.

  • adman

    Nos.8 and 9: You have your opinion, I have mine, it’s that simple. Straight Allies are wonderful, yet they benefit from their more advantageous status over us in society, and that’s a fact we all have to face, gay and straight. Hope and change is great and all that, but navigating society is difficult enough for any Queer, let alone who has been snowed into thinking the world of straights is a healthy one for him or her.
    Also, IMHO (and I am an atheist) Jesus was not preaching anything moral by scapegoating himself for everyone else’s benefit. Jesus created a larger moral bankruptcy by “forgiving” people their sins, and calling that a holy sacrament. As a result his blandishments are anything BUT moral or ethical.
    We still scapegoat in our society, and that is not the natural nor “moral” position for anyone of our colonial background to take, if you consider history and anthropology. Our (assimilated) cultures were much different than now with the ever presence of Abrahamic religions. I believe the influence of said religions to be catastrophic, and our sacrifices for these beliefs are almost unlimited in terms of wasting human potential.

  • adman

    P.S. re-reading your post I noticed you imply I “hate” straight people, and that is simply not true. Good day.

  • Sam

    @adman: Yes, I am aware that heterosexism exists. How exactly is it the fault of a well-meaning, gay-friendly straight person that he or she has straight privilege? Some straight people consciously choose to forego that privilege by referring to their husbands or wives as “partners.” Some use their privilege to convince homophobic straights that we are deserving of equal rights – and usually, homophobes will listen to gay-friendly straights when they won’t listen to gays. So they can (and often do) use their privilege to subvert it.

    There is no “world of straights.” We live in a homophobic, heterosexist society and that isn’t healthy for anyone. But my family is my family. They love me and I love them. And they are actively fighting the homophobia and heterosexism of other straight people. They are not the enemy.

  • adman

    @Sam: “How exactly is it the fault of a well-meaning, gay-friendly straight person that he or she has straight privilege?”

    Who’s fault hetero-sexist practice and beliefs are is not an issue I introduced, you did.

    “So they can (and often do) use their privilege to subvert it.”

    If subversion mattered as a construct, we gays as living breathing subverts would be fully adapted to our condition in the larger straight centric society, and we are not. Check suicide rates, child abuse statistics, relationship issues we suffer, etc, ad nauseum. We suffer for our role, whether subversive gays or straights exist or not.

    “They are not the enemy.”

    Where did I say they were? you obviously would cast me as an enemy and that is the heart breaker here. If you love being oppressed to the point of investing hope in idealistic subversion of societies norms, again, as I said, knock yourself out. Just don’t try to drag me with you or cast me as belonging to some different “camp”. You know, questioning another’s motives when you don’t understand simple dual constructs that work independently of any individual’s input is oppressive, and I just don’t see why you make such an attempt here.

    Since you made a straw man for me, here’s one for you…It’s only a guess but you do very little in the way of creating anything, right? Any art, music, literature? dang, crafts? I would guess your output here to be minimal, but as you have made your stabs in the dark here, I am claiming I’m entitled now.

  • Jeremyrh2387

    I think the problem is how you stereotype heterosexuals. I don’t like stereotypes of any kind, and I know so many other gay guys who hate when they hear some dumb person say something about all gay guys being whores or all of the other none logical things.

    So I hate that people stereotype us for certain things that are far from the truth, so I don’t think it is okay to stereotype them.

    There are so many people who help us fight for our rights, and help open other peoples minds to the gay community.

  • Professor Bobo

    I’m straight. I love gay people in general. How do I go about fighting the hate? Well I don’t know too many people around me that even discuss gays but on the internet I try and get haters to see sense and I do this tirelessly.

    I have huge problems with society and religion for causing hatred and fear and I let everyone know that. If that’s not good enough for Adman, well, tough luck. I do what I can. But then I would ask what Adman is doing to go out and help support his gay-friendly straights in their mission to help him or is he just leaving it all to the likes of me and the good P-Flag folks?

  • Sam

    @adman: “Who’s fault hetero-sexist practice and beliefs are is not an issue I introduced, you did.”

    @adman: “And that gay friendly straight person like your mom is getting ready to go right out and remedy the hate they themselves create against us? Like, when? Starting tomorrow?”

    To clarify: “That gay-friendly straight person… is getting ready to… remedy the hate they themselves create against us.”

    You are blaming every straight person for heterosexism. And when I point out that not every straight person is heterosexist or encourages heterosexism, you accuse me of loving oppression and having Stockholm Syndrome. I literally don’t even know what we’re arguing about, as you seem to think that not disowning every straight person I know and running off to live in an all-gay commune or something is the only way to not be oppressed.

  • Sam

    Oh, and WHAT?

    @adman: “Since you made a straw man for me, here’s one for you…It’s only a guess but you do very little in the way of creating anything, right? Any art, music, literature? dang, crafts? I would guess your output here to be minimal, but as you have made your stabs in the dark here, I am claiming I’m entitled now.”

    You have done nothing but condescend to me and make assumptions about my relationship to straight society, and now you randomly accuse me of being uncreative? And you feel entitled to do so because you think I created a straw man? What straw man did I make, exactly?

  • adman

    @Sam: I explained myself fully, if you were capable of following the dialogue that you intitiated yourself, you’d know. Your reply indicates an unwillingness to approach further discussion with any integrity, or, (as I believe) you don’t know how to read. Remember, reading is fundamental. You are full of fail, and plus you are disengenous, so you get a fuck you for that, too! good day sir.

  • adman

    @Sam: You’ll note I was finding fault with the construct of hetero-sexism at the behest of hetero and their GLBT apologists, namely you. Just for clarity.

  • Sam

    Wow, so not only am I uncreative, I’m also illiterate?

    Here’s the debate so far, as I understand it:

    1. AlwaysGay starts ranting about how all heterosexuals hate gays.
    2. I make the outrageous and offensive statement that not all straight people are like that.
    3. You defend AlwaysGay (or maybe you are him under a different screen name) by claiming that none of my straight friends or family members have ever – or will ever – help the gay cause. Then you tell me to get over myself and get with reality.
    4. I inform you that my straight friends and family HAVE in fact helped with gay causes.
    5. You dissolve into vague queer theory lectures that have little to do with the topic at hand but serve to demonize me as a “heterosexist apologist” just because I *stood up for my mom.* My P-FLAG-joining, pride parade-marching, Prop 8-protesting, Queer Prom-attending, Unitarian mom. You then randomly accuse me of being uncreative and illiterate.


  • Sam

    In other words, this started as an argument over whether or not EVERY LAST STRAIGHT PERSON IN THE WORLD is a hateful homophobic bastard, I argued against, you and AlwaysGay argued for, and as soon as I started citing examples from my own life of straight people who are not hateful homophobic bastards, you conveniently changed the topic to institutional heterosexism, claiming that I was an apologist for it based on no evidence whatsoever.

    But then, what do I know? Apparently, I can’t even read.

  • Bill

    What do you except from Ohio?

Comments are closed.