CSA president was stabbed last year after meeting date from Grindr app

Michael Robinson, executive chairman of the Committee for Social Advancement, was stabbed last August after meeting a Grindr date.

The Fort Smith Police Department identified the suspect as Jacob Favela, 23.

The stabbings took place at a convenience store at 3620 N. O Street.

The affidavit says Favela told investigators he had a desire to “enact a homicidal pattern.”

Favela was arrested and charged with attempted first degree murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping.

This is not the first time Favela has been arrested for crimes in Fort Smith.

After: Man arrested in connection with Fort Smith burglaries

Robinson said it’s not uncommon for Grindr users to pretend to be older, gay or bisexual, or someone they’re not in order to commit crimes.

“The part of him saying he wanted to know what it was like to commit homicide speaks volumes about a generation of people who have disconnected in so many ways,” he said. “It is not normal.”

Robinson said he “happened to be handy” for his attacker.

“Being under the knife of someone who feels like your life is nothing and living your death because they wanted to know what it’s like to kill someone…” he said. -he declares. “The detective said he wanted to be famous.”

Robinson continues to wonder why her attacker wanted to become “famous” since his death.

“I didn’t hear any warning signs,” he said. “But he wanted me to act like his Uber driver, and I didn’t want to surprise him among his friends… so it didn’t raise a flag, but everything changed once we got in the car. “

Robinson spent two days on life support and a total of 18 days in hospital.

Two months after his near-death experience, Robinson says he clearly remembers saying “thank you” to the universe for the scars on his body.

He shared his story in a Clubhouseaudio meeting room on June 8.

“I could never have seen or heard what I have been able to hear since that day,” he said. “Since this event happened, since this near death experience happened, something happened to me.”

Almost a year later, he is still processing the violent incident.

Robinson said that if his attacker had received proper mental health care, he could have walked away unscathed.

“He failed too,” he said. “Much of it belongs to him, but some that is not his, for which he is seeking help, was misdiagnosed or did not receive proper care, and did not continue to take medication. , whatever, whatever, that doesn’t stop what happened, but we have to look at it from a holistic perspective.”

Now Pride month is nearly over and as a gay-identifying man, Robinson said he wants the River Valley Equality Center, The Sweet House, Club Z, Club Kinkead’s, Jessi’s House and city managers are doing more for Fort Smith’s LGBTQ community. .

After: “Loved and Supported No Matter What”: LGBTQ Community Center Opens in Fort Smith.

“People need to see faces,” he said. “They need to see the connected faces of people they know or see the differences of all the people standing in a photo because they never show a picture of it, there is no picture.”

Robinson suggested hanging gay pride flags on lamp posts like Christmas wreaths in December.

“All of these things are optics, we visualize them, we see them and we become aware of them,” he said. “The greatest responsibility must come from a collective effort among gay organizations and allies in the community.”

When the LGBTQ community is visually represented in the community, its members are able to “galvanize” as a financial force, Robinson said.

After: Fort Smith residents show their LGBTQ pride at a rally.

“The gay dollar is strong, they just don’t have anything like a foundation that when they go out there and stand there, it’s not a community that stands by their side, it’s just a few individuals it never really reaches a point of elevation where everyone is like ‘ok guys let’s get together and by the mall here we’ll put all the gay businesses here’

Robinson said the LGBTQ community doesn’t have to wait for anyone’s permission to start taking action and making their presence known in Fort Smith.

“There are people who want to come together with allies and help us put something together in the city of Fort Smith,” he said. “We just don’t have the right leadership to make it happen.”

The COVID-19 pandemic “has exposed a lot of things in our society” and it has galvanized people in our communities in a different way.

Robinson hopes City Administrator Carl Geffken will join the LGBTQ community for future Pride Month events.

After: The River Valley Equality Center connects trans people to resources and organizes the Pride Rally

Robinson envisions a future Pride Parade on Garrison Avenue with the right marketing committee to write demand letters to the city on how the community should participate.

Each company participating in the Pride Parade would be represented as an ally of the LGBTQ community.

“In Dallas, when they do, banks, local businesses, Uber, everyone, they want in,” Robinson said. “Because they know those gay dollars are strong.”

Compared to the Steel Horse Rally and the Old Fort Days Rodeo, the small pride rally in front of the post office doesn’t really seem like a celebrated event.

“For me, I still feel like a second-class citizen,” Robinson said. “How many people in the Steel Horse Rally are bisexual? What about college? Where’s college?”

The Center for Social Advocacy visited the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and Robinson called on students to come out publicly and represent the LGBTQ community.

“It’s a public institution by the way, they really have a duty to speak out,” he said. “Taxes pay for this college, people in the community pay for this college, so you might want to thank them a little bit.”

Robinson wants people to see his holistic vision of building community and providing more places like The Sweet House and Jessi’s House for LGBTQ people.

After: Jessi’s House offers unconditional love to LGBTQ young adults facing homelessness.

“This is our fight, we have to stand up so they can support us, they have to see us do it first,” he said. “The city is waiting for the right leaders to make it work and I think I can give them that if they allow me to listen to what really works.”

Robinson said he wanted the community to adopt the Committee for Social Advancement’s slogan: “Let’s solve this together”.

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