There really hasn’t been much news in the Toronto gay scene over the past week that wasn’t related to the horrific murder of Chris Skinner last Sunday, and all of that news has been pretty faithfully delivered to you over on Xtra’s news pages.
It’s clear the community is still sensitive about the murder and the possibility that it was hate-motivated. Call me a bleary-eyed optimist, but I’m not yet convinced that the gruesomeness of this crime necessarily means that it was hate-motivated, or that, as my colleague Scott Dagostino puts it: “Chris Skinner’s homosexuality is the most probable reason for this horrific escalation in brutality.” We have no evidence yet that the killers were hate-motivated, or that they intended to send a message to the gay community. The police say they have a number of witnesses to the crime, none of whom so far have said they have reason to believe that bias played a factor.
Cry for justice for Chris Skinner, but don’t let knee-jerk fears keep you from enjoying what is more often than not one of the safest and most tolerant cities in the world.
In other news around the gaybourhood, construction proceeds apace along the Church St streetcar rail/road reconstruction, and the city now predicts the whole project will be finished up to Carlton St by the end of the year, beating original predictions that the section north of Dundas would drag into 2010. It’s unfortunate that the Church St BIA and Ryerson couldn’t get the city to commit to some streetscaping improvements in that dreary area (wider sidewalks, trees, bike paths maybe?), but at least the roads will be nice and smooth again. And hey, maybe the hookers will be back next spring? (The BIA stops at Carlton, but they could still pressure to have the adjoining neighbourhood/gateway beautified).
Also, the city has decided to rename a small portion of Jarvis St between Bloor and Charles “Ted Rogers Way,” because that’s not unnecessarily confusing.
Hey, I said it’s been a slow news week.