By Lalig Tarbinian
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Long Beach is often seen as an LGBT safe haven, but a man says he had a violent encounter with hate in front of a Pine Avenue gay bar.
Hate crimes rose 20 percent nationally amid last year’s tensive election season, especially for LGBT people. Luis Velazquez, a local gay artist and art historian, says he felt the brunt of that trend last summer when he was assaulted outside the bar after partying with friends.
“I never thought it would happen here in Long Beach,” Velazquez said.
While hate crimes may be difficult to legally ascertain absent proof of motivation, Velazquez asserts it was clearly due to his sexual orientation. Above, watch Velazquez share his story and learn about hate crime victim resources.