Though Dayna Morales and Sarah Bray were liars who duped the media and general public into believing they were victims of antigay discrimination, they’re just the latest in the trend of hoaxes by gays who are looking for attention, money, or both.
Here are five other gays who took their lies even further, claiming to be victims of antigay hate crime attacks that were later found to be false.
What do you do when you try to do a backflip and fall flat on your face? If you’re Joseph Baken, you lick your wounds, lie about being beaten by three men outside of a Montana gay bar at 4:30 a.m., then succeed in getting nearly half a million Facebook “likes” for the photo of your bruised face. And he would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for that meddling video above that made its way around the web shortly after news of his “attack” hit the media. Baken later paid a $380 fine and was given a 180 day suspended jail sentence. Hopefully he’s since learned how to stick it on the landing.
In 2011, then-University of North Carolina freshman Quinn Matney may or may not have been dealing with mental health issues when he burned himself on the forearm. When asked by another student what happened, he made up a lie about being branded by someone who called him a “f*cking faggot” that rocked the campus after he was pushed to report the “attack” by his friends. Matney later admitted the story was false after a meeting with UNC Public Safety, though LGBT student leaders used the opportunity to hold a campus wide forum on safety issues that was supported by the surrounding community.
In the summer of 2012, former University of Nebraska basketball player Charlie Rogers shocked the nation when she reported a brutal home invasion by three masked men who stripped and subdued her before carving homophobic slurs into her body. The story was found to be false when investigators got all CSI on the evidence and found no signs of a struggle in the house, as well as the DNA of Rogers in the gloves that allegedly belonged to her attackers. She was later charged with filing a false report, served a week in jail, and will be on probation until 2015.
Former Central Connecticut State University student and stunt queen extraordinaire Alexandra Pennell not only falsely reported antigay notes written on a board outside of her dorm room and slipped in under the door, she boldly addressed hundreds of students at a CCSU rally held to support her. CCSU Police took the charges very seriously, and later found that she’d been sending the notes to herself after secretly recording her on a camera placed in the hallway near her room. Pennell later admitted that she did the whole thing to get attention from her roommate, and was not only kicked out of CCSU, but barred from attending colleges in Connecticut for five years.
As an openly gay Republican working for a straight Republican candidate against a gay Democratic challenger, Kyle Wood thought it would be an awesome idea to fake a hate crime attack to get a bit of support. One week after claiming to have found vandalism on his car calling him, among other things, a “house trained Republican faggot,” he took it one step further and reported being beaten at his home by an unknown assailant. Wood later recanted the story, “house trained Republican faggot” remains a surprisingly underutilized slur for our GOP bretheren, and Democrat Mark Pocan later won the seat in question.
Not only is the search for attention from these hoaxes desperate, but every one that is reported takes away from the hundreds of hate crimes against LGBT people that actually do take place every year. By all means report crimes if they really do occur, but don’t lie, boys and girls.
The internet is forever.