Crime | Gay Youth | Michigan | News

Michigan Teen Beaten in Anti-Gay Assault


Steven Harmon, a 15-year-old from Portage, Michigan, was assaulted last week and left with bruising, fractures, and a broken lip after two older teens attacked him for being gay:

"Harmon says he recently told his family and friends he is gay. He says that while the attack may have caused a lot of physical pain, he is still staying strong. 'You did not break my spirit. I'm still standing here today and I am what I am,' said Harmon."

Watch the news report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. what a brave young man! ..and a supportive mother and family! jail those bastards!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Aug 17, 2009 10:23:13 AM

  2. for a portrait of courage, see above, for a portrait of shame, see below.

    Posted by: cd | Aug 17, 2009 11:01:23 AM

  3. This is sad and it makes me VERY angry.

    Posted by: KFLO | Aug 17, 2009 11:35:08 AM

  4. I'm going to refrain from comment as I should but am I the only one that immediately thought of his physical appearance?

    God, when did I become so shallow and jaded, I hate myself a little bit for thinking that way.

    Posted by: John | Aug 17, 2009 11:46:12 AM

  5. Religion strikes again.

    Posted by: Andrew | Aug 17, 2009 11:53:41 AM

  6. No, Andrew, stupidity strikes again. Get over your religion-bashing, please.

    Anyway...I'm guessing that if this case stays in juvenile court the hate crime designation is really just symbolic, but at least the prosecutors are doing something to send a message, which I applaud.

    Posted by: DR | Aug 17, 2009 12:12:09 PM

  7. Yes, John, you should refrain. Shame on you.

    Posted by: Mark | Aug 17, 2009 12:14:21 PM

  8. I feel sorry for this kid - only because he's proud to be gay but eventually he'll come to realize the "community" will judge him just as superficially as the straight bashers. To be 15 and brave enough to stand up on TV for who and "what" he is, he's a better role model than most.

    Posted by: Donovan | Aug 17, 2009 12:21:01 PM

  9. A courageous young soul.

    @ John

    You should be very ashamed of yourself for even implying that you were even gonna make a comment against the young man's appearance in the first damn place.What the fuck is it with you superficial,narcissistic queens?

    @ DR

    Religion is the epicenter of bigotry against gay people,yes the bashers were taught to hate gays and are stupid for doing it.However,there is a pretty high chance that religion has some roll in their bigotry against gay people.How can you be bashing religion if its the truth and has been proven on many many....many occasions.

    Believing in God doesnt make you a stupid person.However,Religion....DOES.

    Take a pill

    Posted by: Rocky | Aug 17, 2009 12:24:36 PM

  10. Brave kid! I am really getting sick and tired of all this anti-gay bullshit. When is enough just plain old enough? Trying to educate the hoosier hillbillys does not work. Whaddya' do?

    Posted by: Island Girly | Aug 17, 2009 12:26:29 PM

  11. I grew up in Michigan just outside Portage (my nephews and nieces live there) and it was fairly tolerant back then under certain least in my experience people wouldn't beat you up or harm you. Gay bars were unheard of then (I think there was just one called "The Zoo" in Kalamazoo and one in Grand Rapids), but I don't recognize Michigan nowadays. They've become so low class and extremely redneck, you'd think you were in the Ozarks or something.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Aug 17, 2009 12:34:31 PM

  12. @Rocky,

    When you assume every single act of hatred against gays is religious-based, you come across as a bigot. You and others who post here like to conveniently forget all the good some that denoms do because we haven't rewritten the Bible.

    This selective amnesia is going to cost the larger gay community allies, which I know doesn't bother you; you've already told me as much that you'd rather not have allies like me...But in this day and age, we cannot afford to lose allies anywhere.

    We need them more than they need us; every gay marriage performed at a Church is one more couple proving to people on the fence and part of the moderate community that the world will in fact not end if we get married in the eyes of God. Same with every ordination or election of Bishops. We become more and more human, and that's what wins us allies.

    Until the gay community gets over this pseudo-intellectual anti-religion party line which forces religious gay people to choose which part of their identity they have to wear at any given time and wakes up, we're going to keep losing.

    Posted by: DR | Aug 17, 2009 12:36:35 PM

  13. There will ALWAYS be folks who hate gays, BUT - when our federal government itself allows religious bullies to bring trauma and suffering to our families at the ballot box, we have every right to DEFEND ourselves and FIGHT BACK! HARD!

    Angry ENOUGH yet?

    When Enough is ENOUGH! -

    Posted by: John Bisceglia | Aug 17, 2009 1:05:33 PM

  14. Woodroad34,

    One of the most pro-gay communities in the country is in the Ozarks. Its name is Eureka Springs and while it is an anomaly they are one of the few places in the South to have a Domestic Partner registry. Most of the Ozarks are pretty bad because we don't engage our friends and neighbors and instead we just run and hide. Parts of the Ozarks are horrific and other parts aren't bad at all. It just depends on where you are.

    Posted by: Jason Young | Aug 17, 2009 1:29:47 PM

  15. I support you Steven. Stay strong! Stay in school and get an education.

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 17, 2009 4:01:23 PM

  16. John,

    You should hate yourself for that comment. It is both mean and as you said shallow. And this is not about being a queen as one person said. There are people who are queens who do not kick a young man when he is already been beaten. It is sick and shows the part of even our community that is pathetic and only worries about looks. I personally find nothing at all wrong with his appearance and feel he is handsome. But to even bring up looks in the context of this story says so, so much about you! Sad, just sad.

    Posted by: Rann | Aug 18, 2009 8:59:58 AM

  17. CLearly it has shown that in recent years the age of coming out has dropped. Younger people are finding the closet to be a dark and scary place, one that warrants suicide as we see year after year as one in three teen suicides is over being gay or lesbian. We all know how scary the closet is let alone coming out. I was literally forced out while in the service and was beaten almost to death by four other sailors at the age of 20. I now sit back at home on a medical discharge at 21 dealing with PTSD and a homophobic right wing family who's ashamed and think I have disgraced them in some way. For this younf man to have the courage I never had espeically at 15 when I was deepest in the closet, and to act upon it shows ones character and true nature. I share his pain because I know what hes been through if not worse. And yet I am still open, and I stand up and am open about my sexuality and I confront the bigotry and the stigmas and the sterotypes because I have to. Because if I dont others won't. If any of you have any sort of character or even a shred of sympathy stop the nonsense and bickering amongst yourselves. The more I read these blogs the more I see just howfractured the ay community is. And THAT is the reason nothing gets done. That is why you do not see action. Not politicians or the democrats but because of us. No one is going to just walk up and give your marriage or the freedom to be open in the military. YOU have to ge tout there and fight for those rights. SO stop bitching get out there and do something!

    Posted by: Jason | Aug 18, 2009 12:24:12 PM

  18. I wonder what would happen to all those macho fag-bashers if we gays and lesbians started getting concealed weapons permits (and concealed weapons) and started using them on people who physically assault us?

    Let's face it: if our attackers are going to use anything at their disposal to assault us, we might as well start fighting back -- and if that means shooting our attackers, at least that means there's one fewer homophobe to bash us!

    Posted by: Mark | Aug 18, 2009 12:47:47 PM

  19. Steven Harmon was and Is one of my best friends, and yes he is still going strong and proud of who he is. I don't like how some people only think about the fact that he is gay. Yes he is Gay and he always will be. It doesn't matter if you are gay or straight or Bisexual, your still a person. You breathe,eat,sleep, and you still have feelings.Don't bash on people.

    Posted by: Tina Morgan | May 8, 2012 12:43:57 PM

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