LGBTQ community says allegedly fabricated claims by Smollett ‘distracting from hate crimes’

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Members of the LGBTQ community are speaking out about the allegedly fabricated claims by actor Jussie Smollett.

They want people to know the harassment and hate they face is real.

“It’s really tempting to take this story that’s essentially really distracting from hate crimes as they usually happen and let it define how we respond to those, and we can’t do that,” Nyles Claire Suer said.

Suer works at North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem. The nonprofit organization serves as a support group for people who are a part of the LGBTQ community.

Suer said they do not want the recent allegations against Smollett to overshadow the problems they face every day.

Suer went on to say the group has to respond to each case individually and with full respect for the person who is speaking out about something that happened to them.

Kori Hennessey works as an office manager at the LGBT Center in Raleigh and is concerned about the repercussions this case could have on future victims coming forward.

“We already have a really hard time with people believing our stories or people really seeing us the way that we identify and the terms that we use,” Hennessey said.

Smollett was released today on a $100,000 bail. His next court appearance is in March.

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