That Montana Guy Lied About Being Gay Bashed
By Joseph Alexiou
Joseph Baken, of Billings, Montana, is a liar. Starting early Monday, photos of the 22 year-old with a battered eye and lip circulated around Facebook, Tumblr, and the social media world accompanied by the story of his being attacked by homophobes outside of a club — Baken told Billings police he was attacked late Sunday evening outside of the Missoula Club on Main Street, where he was celebrating his birthday.
Turns out that Baken was performing "Olympic style" backflips off of a curb on Main Street, when he smashed his face into the ground (sustaining minor injury). He then decided to follow one stupid idea with another one, particularly telling police that he was gay bashed. After a video of his acrobatics emerged, Baken admitted to police that it was fake. He's since been fined $300 and a 180 day suspended jail sentence. One reported from NBC Montana who helped report the whole story from the beginning, was shaken up by this:
“When I received news of (the videotape), I had a hard time sleeping,” Mayer said. “It seemed like such a big story, in light of the significance to the gay community and to the community as a whole.
Frankly, Baken's behavior is reprehensible. The last thing the gay community of Billings — not to mention all of the United States — needs are false cries of wolf about homophobic behavior. We should save that for, you know, the real thing. The quesiton of why Baken engaged in this practice, aside from youthful ignorance, could be some pent-up anger about what it's like to be gay in Billings. Still, no excuse for an unwarrented sounding the alarm bells. It's foolish and makes us look stupid. Stop doing it.