An openly gay University of Alberta student who grew up in Ponoka was attacked in a gay hate crime on July 19 during daylight hours.
Chevi Rabbit, 26, was walking from his dorm at the university to a nearby Subway for snacks when a car pulled up beside him and its occupants shouted homosexual slurs.
“They were basically yelling ‘you f**ing faggot’,” Rabbit said. “Everybody could hear. My ears were red.”
“I just said thank you, I didn’t know what else to do.”
When Rabbit turned away one man jumped from the car and pinned him to the ground with a headlock.
Several people from the heavily populated area rushed to Rabbit’s aid and the men fled the scene in a silver Acura with a spoiler. The man also took Rabbit’s iPhone when he left.
Rabbit is thankful witnesses interceded in the attack.
Rabbit was treated for a cut on his hand, minor scrapes and bruises as well as cuts on his chest.
Rabbit is now commuting from Ponoka to Edmonton because he feels safer that way. Until police press charges in a case labeled a gay hate crime Rabbit will continue to commute.
He’s sure that with so many witnesses to the attack charges will be laid.
“I’ve never encountered anything like that. I grew up in Ponoka,” Rabbit said. “I have a very accepting family and a fabulous group of friends. Sometimes I forget how gay I am.”
Rabbit helped to organize a march and rally that will take place Aug. 2 in Edmonton. The march will begin at 6 p.m. at the scene of the crime, 110 Street and 84 Avenue.
The march will proceed through the campus. Those who attend are encouraged to wear purple and march holding the hand of someone of the same sex.
Rabbit will walk with actress Ashley Callingbull, who’s an advocate for social equality.
The march will end at the Alberta Legislature Building where the rally will commence. Speakers include Alberta Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk, Marc Powers, the openly gay NDP candidate for Calgary-Klein, and Rabbit.
Rabbit wants the rally to create awareness of hate crimes and other discriminatory differences as well as hopefully make Edmonton a safer place for everyone.
“I’m not going to change who I am. I’m still going to be Chevi Rabbit.”
On Facebook there is a group called NOH8 Taking Back Greater Edmonton with more information about the rally.