Lesbian Attacked Following Anti-Hate Vigil

An openly lesbian student was attacked at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota several hours after a vigil held in remembrance of hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard.

Two young men approached the 22-year-old student as she walked from the campus library to her car on Monday night around 9 p.m. The unidentified woman reported that the men used homophobic slurs as they knocked her to the ground, punching her in the head. One man knelt on her chest and hit her with an object, cutting her face.

She was admitted into St. Cloud Hospital, treated and released, and later reported the incident to police. During the attack, the men had advised her not to report the assault, saying, “We know that you’re a smart dyke. Don’t say anything to anyone.”

College spokesperson Barry Wegener said, “The university does not tolerate this sort of behavior and if we find those aggressors, those guys, and if they’re students they won’t be around very long. . .that’s for sure.”

So far no suspects have been arrested for the crime. St. Cloud State officials have made a security escort available for the woman.


Minneapolis Star Tribune - October 20, 1998 and Washington Post - October 22, 1998

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