Is Gentrification Reason Behind Attack of Two Interpreters in Gay Bashing

Washington DC - 12:30 AM officers responded to the 2000 block of 10th St., N.W. on April 15, 2018. This was in response to an aggravated assault. There are two adult males that were attacked  by three suspects. "during the assault, the suspects yelled homophobic slurs" the police statement says. U St NW is predominantly black neighborhood where Howard University is based in and this neighborhood has always been a predominately black neighborhood. 

Small Dot is DuPont Circle. Circle is U St. NW area where the attack occured.

Small Dot is DuPont Circle. Circle is U St. NW area where the attack occured.

Washington D.C. has been going through gentrification and because the area (DuPont Circle and Logan Circle) where the gay community has always been located has gone through gentrification, their bars have been pushed to the U street area. Since U St. NW  is being gentrified as well, many black people are angry about being pushed out of their neighborhood so it does not shock Ricky Taylor that gay bashings happened because they felt threatened by gentrification. DuPont Circle used to have rougly 15 gay bars but currently only have four while U St. NW had none and now have about four or five. This occured when DuPont gentrification increased cost of lease and rentals in the area which caused those bars to shut down or relocate. 

“cultures do conflict with each other - gay community and black community on that corridor. not that it is bad, I would say that it is part of growing pains for both communities. But gentrification certainly plays a BIG part in this.”
— Ricky Taylor

According to the Washington City Paper, Most LGBTQ spaces have vanished from DuPont Circle including a variety of locations such as Mr. P's, the Fraternity House, Phase 1's Northwest outpost, et. al. This used to be called the D.C. queer quarter and it has diminished. They entitled the article perfectly to reflect that most LGBTQ locations have become so widespread there is no longer a "centric" location for the gay community. 

In these venues’ absence have sprung new venues and meeting places, many along the 14th and U Street NW corridors, serving D.C.’s next generation of LGBTQ denizens. The concentration of queer culture has scattered, however, and some look back on the “gayborhood’s” heyday with pride and saudade.
— Washington City Paper

The interpreters have been identified as Zack Link and Michael Creason. It has been reported that one victim suffered a broken nose and broken teeth while the other suffered a concussion and was knocked unconscious during the attack. 

Gay sign language interpreter Jamie Sycamore, who is a candidate for the D.C. City Council in Ward 1, where the incident occurred, told the Blade he is friends with both victims. He identified them as D.C. residents Michael Creason and Zack Link, both of whom, according to Sycamore, also work as sign language interpreters. He said both men are in their 20s. Sycamore said he spoke with both victims after the attack and they did not tell him where they were coming from or where they were going immediately before they were attacked.
— Washington Blade


Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 202-727-9099, or to text a tip to 50411.