On new years eve, two men walking out of the wildcat who were suspected of being gay were attacked violentley by three white males, all with shaved heads. The Santa Barbara Police Department says that one victim ended up with a broken jaw and a head injury. With the information collected so far, it appears that the two men were attacked BECAUSE they were perceived as gay. The suspects muttered a homophobic slur during the attack. Crimes like this are called hate crimes, and they are horrible in every way (or any crime, for that matter.) Hates crimes will NOT be tolerated in our community. It is so upsetting to hear about something like this taking place. Out of all places, Santa Barbara doesn’t seem to be a place where an event like this would occur, but it did, and we need to do something about it! If you have ANY information, contact Detective Claytor at (805) 897-2346 for a reward of $ 7500. This is not the only way you can help, though! Be an ally to members of the LGBTQQA (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual) community. Educate your friends! A lot of people might think “I’m straight and cisgender, it doesn’t affect me, so it doesn’t matter”. But think about it. How would you feel if you were discriminated against, put down, and in this case, even ATTACKED, for something that is beyond your control. This is not just an issue of what happened on new years eve, but an issue of ignorance and homophobia. Homophobia is ingrained into our society. Growing up, most of learn that being with the opposite sex is whats “normal” and “right”. Even if we aren’t directly taught these things, we see it everywhere in the media. Something to think about is: If all sexualities and gender identities were shown in the media, would it still seem “different” to you? Don’t let yourself get brainwashed. Don’t agree with what everyone else thinks because its easier. Have your own voice. Is there really anything wrong with two people loving eachother? Do you think anyone really need to be put down for that? Next time you hear someone say something homophobic, think about that. If we all learn how to be accepting and caring towards one another, we can make our community stronger, and prevent crimes like this from happening!