Update: Esteban Torres appeared in a Quebec court today and was charged with assault with a weapon and causing a disturbance. He pleaded not guilty. He was released on $500 bail, ordered to undergo medical exam (i.e. a psych exam), and among other things, ordered not to associate with a radical anti-capitalist wing called the Pink Bloc.
Many in Montreal’s LGBTQ community are shaking their heads in disbelief and dismay the day after an ugly incident occurred at a vigil in the city for the victims of the Orlando gay nightclub massacre.
Thousands turned out for the event Thursday night, including several politicians — among them Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, PQ MNA and leadership candidate Jean-François Lisée (who has written a Facebook post about the incident), Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and federal Heritage minister Mélanie Joly.
After several speakers had addressed the crowd, including Mr. Couillard, one of the speakers — a 20-year-old trans man named Esteban Torres — accosted the premier, shouting something about starting a revolution. He was quickly arrested and dragged off by police while the premier was hustled away from the event by his security people.
This is the second act of violence allegedly committed by a trans person in the past two months in Montreal. In May, there was an arson attack on the only facility in Canada that offers gender reassignment surgery, and a trans woman in B.C. is the prime suspect in the case.
And then there is the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando itself. The attacker apparently frequented the club, i.e. he appears to have been a bisexual person, if not a self-loathing, closeted gay person who may have been conflicted about his sexuality and his religious inclinations.
Sadly, these acts along with some of the social media attack campaigns launched by some LGBTQ advocates against people who voice unpopular opinions prove that LGBTQ people can be bullies and bigots — and, indeed, criminals, too.
It is something all LGBTQ people need to keep in mind when they advocate for equal rights.
To quote Jean-François Lisée from his Facebook post, which was apparently chanted by the crowd after the shocking incident on Thursday night:
“Respect, respect, respect, respect, respect….”