Charlie Rogers, an openly lesbian Nebraska woman who was the victim of a disturbing recent hate crime, has spoken out about her attack to thank her supporters and derail rumors that the crime did not happen. After breaking into her home and painting vulgar anti-gay slurs on her wall, three masked men bound her with zip ties and carved the word “dyke” into her stomach with a knife. Before the men fled, they also poured gasoline in her house and attempted to light the house on fire as she lay bound by the ties. Although she survived the horrific attack, Rogers was found bleeding and naked after she had crawled her way to her neighbor’s doorstep screaming for help.
In an interview with a local television station, Rogers has decided to come forward and reveal her identity following the incident to quell rumors that the attack was fabricated. Responding to internet stories or homophobic newspapers who have openly questioned her story, Rogers tearfully described the doubts as “victimizing again, saddening.” The former University of Nebraska basketball player, who is also an active community volunteer and owns a small business, had originally tried to keep her identity secret, but decided last week to publicly defend her integrity against the recent allegations:
ROGERS: My world has been changed forever…For people to think this doesn’t happen here, it does. It did. [...] The idea that people think it’s a lie is so hurtful. It’s understandable. Intellectually I understand that people have a hard time wrapping their heads around what happened. So do I. But I’m a person, with feelings, with concerns. It’s just so…it feels like a punch in the stomach. Like a betrayal, instead of the focus being on safety, healing…I’m not a pawn in a game. I’m a person.