Whether Anthony Bray in New York is guilty of a homophobic attack on Damien Furtch has yet to be established. However, the fact that he is saying it cannot be a homophobic attack because he is gay raises two interesting questions – can one gay person homophobically attack another? And, could this be a new instance of the ‘counter hate claim’?
By its very nature a homophobic hate attack implies an attack that arises because that other person is perceived to be gay. I guess a homophobic attack by a gay person on another gay person is only likely if they already hate their gay nature and have surpressed it (in which case they are highly unlikely to identify as gay let alone be out and proud!!).
The ‘counter hate claim’ is one we often see in the Forum – where someone reports homophobia to the Police – and there is an immediate counterclaim of noise, racism, harassment or religious intolerance. Sometimes these counter reports may be true but when there are no previous reports against a gay or trans person but a history of reports of increasing homophobia or transphobia, it looks suspiciously like an attempt to create a diversion by blaming the victim. Unfortunately, in many cases this may succeed.
It will be interesting to see what is revealed in the case against Anthony Bray.