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I agree Sweetie. And the entire new younger gay generation takes it all for granted. For those of us who are old enough to remember what real life was like before Stonewall can attest to the fact that there is a seeming return to those long lost days of yesteryear when homophobia and biased behavior towards gays and lesbiens and transgendered folks was common place. I just drove from Ptown to Washington DC to a funeral last week and I stopped along the highway for gas and food and every place I stopped middle americans looked at me like I was a terrorist ( and I wasn't even in drag) But a word of advice from those long ago times when we had to travel like nuns, in pairs, in order to be safe. Carry tear gas, learn to fight and protect yourself. As the republican conservative party continues on its march toward racism, sexism and homophobia this is not the time to hide our heads in the sand and imagine that we are loved and accepted by our society. Pay close attention and remember in most cases there are only two kinds of conservative straight people: The kind that hate you to your face, and the kind that hate you behind your back.
Sweetie your tales of recent woes are alarming and disheartening to say the least. Let's face it, a big reason why people like us choose to settle on this godforsaken island is to live free of the bigotry the rest of our imperialist nation brews. It's sad to think that the conservative McCarthyist movement spread by the Bush administration has actually begun to taint our concrete haven. While I do believe the tide has impercetibly begun to turn against the Bushies at the national level, it's important to remember that for every two steps forward we get, we are pushed a step back.

I have to take issue though with the criticism of younger gay generations taking things for granted. It seems to me that the veryGOAL of the gay rights movement was and is for future gay generations to take their equality for granted. To NOT feel stigmatized because of their sexuality, to own their individualism and to fully expect without question the same dignity of treatment that every straight person gets. The day that scenario is fully realized will be a beautiful fucking day in my book and a reason to celebrate. If today's gay youth are taking things for granted, it's because progress has been made and our kids have a little more breathing room than queers of generations past had, even more than my generation that came of age in the (relatively recent) 1980s.

That said, we are certainly a long way from such a state of affairs. Learning to protect oneself is always a smart undertaking. Remaining out and proud is the single most important contribution any queer can make, both to our history and our future. Still though, it makes one's head spin. When a drag queen with big titties can't get a cab in this town, maybe it's time to pack it in for Amsterdam after all!
IMHO the youth of today have no manners or respect for the struggle of the gay generations before them. It seems to be all about their own self interests and materialism ( thanks Madonna for being such a shining example) and their youth obsessed behavior is a testiment to the shallow way that they treat any of their elders. But I doubt if that's new to our society. The value placed on money, fame and beauty overshadow any hopes for real depth. Of course this is a generalization but the basic facts remain the same. I don't even waste my time trying to talk with anyone under 25 in this day and age. And I certainly don't see any of them out marching or protesting, they are all too busy watching reality shows. Last year I went to the gay pride parade and there were 3 people in the Act-up group. A far cry from a mere decade earlier when there were 500 people in Act up. I guess they think that's all behind them now. And to even think of voting? What's that?
Thank you for starting the topic, Sweetie. I, too, agree that we all need to be safe, visible and accounted for. There comes with those of us who have lived for a certain number of years a responsibility for our individual rights and freedom to move about in this world. True, those queer kids born post-1980 have been provided a buffer from some of the obvious acts of hatred that have bludgeoned our historical paths. It has still gone on, though...rampantly.

Personally, I have two nephews growing up in suburban Georgia (one age 20, one age 13) who are quite socially liberal when it comes to their gay uncle or their mom's lesbian friend... I feel it is what I can do to set an example to them and prevent two more homophobic rednecks from being unleashed upon the world. So far, it seems to work. They're pretty stellar, compassionate kids.

As far as national sentiments are concerned, we do have to be smarter and more active. Safe space is the most basic and important place to start. The Big Cup is a good example. Sure, they were priced out by 3 Starbucks along that 8th Avenue stretch between 14th and 23rd Streets, but people miss that corny little queer gathering space. Starbucks is hardly queer-owned and identified. I do not see bulletin boards for public announcements in a fucking Starbucks. Homogenization can be as deadly as a billyclub.

Can we move this topic to Got Issues? or Versailles Room?
Last edited by mr.joe
One one hand, this country is being inundated by images of queerdom in all its forms on TV, in films and plays and music videos. The other night in the area around Washington Square and SoHo (not particularly the "gay ghetto",) I saw dozens of same sex couples walking arm-in-arm attracting no particular notice.
On the other hand politicians and ministers rail against us, we are beaten and harrassed and murdered. Gay youth in schools have as bad a time as ever. Our desire to have our relationships legitimized by the State has been denied-- even if it we do not mask it behind the "safe" guise of "domestic partnership." Should we join our armed forces (though at this point I might wonder why) we must not only keep silent, but we will still be hunted down and persecuted.

I am very much reminded of an a fellow classmate in grammar school who hated Blacks with a passion, yet adored the music of Motown and lionized Hank Aaron. It's fine for the niggers to do "de ole minstrel show for de white Massa," after all...

But, things are changing bit by bit... the fact that my father's home helper has a partnered HIV+ gay son who is spoken about openly and casually and that my Dad, who was born during World War I, derides his own church for their homophobia, proves that things have changed a great deal. All my nephews have gay and lesbian friends. Like Mr. Joe points out, the revolution happens one person at a time.

Yes, Bobby, Act Up is currently not "in vogue." There are a variety of reasons for that-- one being the fact that the HIV crisis is perceived (wrongly) as being over. Another reason is the "collective" sort of way in which the group operated. And of course, young people are never interested in history. Unless of course they are really advanced.

I agree-- fight back! NEVER take your rights for granted. And Sweetie, your friend should get in touch with a group like AVP. No one should have to live this way. And we must not be silent about it.
Last edited by daddy
I think everyone here is dead on...
(except Bobby, please don't stop talking to the kids. -I don't really believe you could do it anyway).

Maybe it's good to stand back and look at the bigger picture.

On one hand: There is Matthew Shepherd, murdered because he was gay. Same as it ever was.

On the other hand: There are shows like "Will & Grace" and "Queer Eye" that are main stream Top 10 American TV. Never thought I'd see that!

On one hand: Only a generation ago it was just about illegal for gays to congregate.

On the other hand: A million gays, lesbians, trannies and their supporters give New York the biggest (and best) parade down 5th Avenue every year.

It's (as Hatches pointed out) a lot like the Black/White issues we have.

On one hand: Hollywood does not really see Black people.

On the other hand: Only a generation ago Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar (the first for a Black actor) but still had to go to the Academy Awards through the back door.
Can you imagine telling Halle Barry, "Sorry Hon, the Red Carpet is for whites only. You have to go in though the service entrance".

On one hand: As Sweetie said: "Face it, bars have been gay peoples living rooms for decades."

On the other hand: "Jackie 60", for example, would get about 600 to 800 people on a Tuesday night. "The Motherboards" get about a million. (I don't really know the exact number but it's a lot).
A hell of a lot more people are reading this discussion here than if we were all sitting at Dick's Bar drunk and spouting off.

I'm not trying to diminish what Sweetie has said. I don't think we should ever let our guard down but at the same time, there has been progress.

but then again...
This boy was brutally killed for being gay.


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  • mailedD21
I don't think it's a question of progress but rather like a chart where the line moved on a steady upward direction for two decades and now as Sweetie indicates that line is moving on a downward direction. Maybe it's because we asked for TOO much ( like marriage and equal rights fro gay families). The public seemed to always prefer the out of site , out of mind perspective. Maybe we became too visual. And I will take back my statement about the gay youth of today if you can show me at least three who don't fit into that generalization about them all being self centered materialistic agiests
who show no respect to anyone over 25. And I would talk to them if they would give me the time of day. The last time I was in the city and went to a club, I was just literally pushed aside without as much as an excuse me by more than several youngins. Maybe I wasn't wearing enough Prada. I do have a few young friends here in PPtown but for the most part the ones that I meet won't give me as much as a hello. I always loved the youth brigade throughout my life but for some resaon it seems like these are a lost generation. But that may not be their fault. Who are their heros and role models today anyway? Madonna? Paris Hilton? Britney Spears?
What great politically correct examples.
Big problem: lack of education. Kids are taught distractions, not lessons, in our schools and at home. Responsible, progressive gay and lesbian leaders are not offered to kids any more today than they were a generation ago. If a kid needs a role model, it takes some special kind of diligence to find one.

When Jim McGreevey was forced out of office, I remember watching the stories on the news, and...I refer back to my nephews...because they were genuinely pissed off; we disccussed it, and they're own adolescent dissatisfaction stemmed from witnessing a man who lied and deceived his constituents and his family because our society has, in its own way, damned him to that kind of fate to reach his political goals. These kids were angry because it seems all they get fed is one sham after another. So they changed the station and watch pro wrestling instead.

I do believe that the conservative power base of this country has successfully painted gays, lesbians, and trans people as "cultural terrorists," playing one citizen's fear against if we are social ills to be "dealt with" either by Homeland Security or by vigilantism.

Kids are given their iPods, TV's, junk food, drugs or whatever to fill the physical holes in their bodies so that they do not have to think about the holes in their emotional and social development. Suddenly, when faced with homophobia and danger on the street or in school, too many are left without the tools they need to address these horrors that are still synonymous with being queer. Self esteem? What's that?
Sorry, what was the anecdote that engendered this thread... or the gist of it anyhow?

Bobby could be right about the youth of today --

The "BattleCry" theocracy rallies -- anti-abortion, anti-gay, backwards-going YOUTH OF AMERICA

"BattleCry is a part of the evangelical organization 'Teen Mania.' You can learn a lot about the kind of society that 'Teen Mania' is fighting for by reading up on its "Honor Academy," a non-accredited educational institution that offers directed internships to 700 undergraduate and graduate youth each year.

"Among the academy's tenets: Homosexuality and masturbation are sins. Interns are forbidden to listen to secular music, watch R-rated movies or date; men can't use the Internet unsupervised; the length of women's skirts is regulated. The logic behind this"”that men must be protected from the sin of sexual temptation"”is what drives Islamic fundamentalists to shroud women in burkhas!

(In the above image, a Navy SEAL addresses the crowd. Nothing says ˜God's love' like an elite killing machine.)

" 'Teen Mania' and BattleCry are multimillion-dollar operations that send more than 5,000 missionaries to more than 34 countries each year. Their supporters and members are some of the most powerful and extreme religious lunatics in the country."
Remaining out and proud is the single most important contribution any queer can make, both to our history and our future.

From Lex in the above string.
I think what I get from a lot of the younger generation of gays and lesbians is that, far different from the let's say pre 1980's generation when being out and militant as well as exercizing solidarity with other social groups was part of the continuing social revolution of the '60's, today the youth have a consciousness of being the fought over and about generation that has both more open and greater opportunities socially and economically as well as having to at the same time endure a more rabid, more intensely organized and conservatively politcally villifying assault. The social environment for young gays today is more contradictory, rewards may come easier and more openly for a few but so do sanctions and the threat of real violence.

So in a way it is not surprising at all that along with the suburbanization of much of Manhattan comes some element of backward slide to the social environment that was going in the opposite direction. But I easily recall that even ten years or more ago I could not get a cab on Houston St. to stop when I wanted to go to Jackie and happened to be turned out with very little on in the way of clothes.

And lets be clear about gays represented in the media and showbiz, they aren't comprehended by the general public as being real on the sidewalk people at all but are among the supposedly very rare and exotic celebrities who are straight, all elevated and standing in the phoney spell of stardom. In a sense it is the old 'model minority' problem blacks and asians have dealt with forever.

I identify with Bobby's open dismay at the readiness with which so many young people seem ready to dismiss their elders, since it is so disappointing to not be appreciated by 'one's own'. But I think one has to nevertheless still be unconditionally open and willing to communicate with these distracted, preoccupied youths. A great deal of how they have been socialized and what they have internalized is not the result of choices they were offered but of ideas and attitudes imposed -and yes, often by their own peers.

At this point in my life I get bad attitude and public social dismissals because of my age, because I am perceived by some as being hispanic, by others as being gay, and recently someone went off on me in a bodega because to them I was a communist! (Of course, but rarely, I also meet with offers of assistance, help and affirmation in public for all the same reasons).

So it would appear to me there IS a permeating backslide in the society to some degree. But I am not all so certain it is because the majority of the population has been affected by the virulent negativity of certain political moralizing organs or because those hostile factions - a social minority themselves- have simply organized, financed, indoctrinated and lobbied their believers and cadres to a degree far greater than anytime in the past. What Act Up did for gay issues fifteen years ago is what the moralizing minority is doing for themselves now. Whatever the answer it is certain to me the society is in a hieghtened state of conflict in many areas. Of course without a doubt a vast amount of this moralizing hostility is the effect of the cheerleaders in national governement offices. And being left on the curb late at night by passing cabs is one of those litmus tests that is not easy to ignore.
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It's all so primal, the attack-counterattack reality. As Hatches pointed out, anyone who is victimized in New York City should contact Anti-Violence Project (24-hour Bilingual Hotline is 212-714-1141). Below is some info about who they are and what they do from their web site
The New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project was founded in 1980 in reaction to neighborhood incidents of anti-gay violence and the failure of the criminal justice system to respond.

The Project serves lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and HIV-positive victims of violence, and others affected by violence, by providing free and confidential services enabling them to regain their sense of control, identify and evaluate their options, and assert their rights. In particular, the Project's staff and volunteers assist survivors of hate-motivated violence (including HIV-motivated violence), domestic violence, and sexual assault, by providing therapeutic counseling and advocacy within the criminal justice system and victim support agencies, information for self-help, referrals to practicing professionals, and other sources of assistance. The Project actively seeks to serve clients from the full range of New York's diverse lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and HIV-positive communities.

The Project serves the larger community through efforts to educate the public about violence directed at or within our communities and to reform government policies and practices affecting lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, HIV-positive and other survivors of violence. By educating law enforcement and social service agency personnel and calling attention to inadequate official and professional responses, the Project works to hold law enforcement and social service agencies accountable to their obligation for impartial service. By documenting violence motivated by hate against the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and HIV-positive communities, organizing community-based activism, and working with organizations serving other communities victimized by hate-motivated violence, the Project works to change public attitudes that tolerate, insulate or instigate hate-motivated violence, and to promote public policies designed to deter such violence.

AVP remained an all-volunteer organization until 1984, when the first full-time Executive Director was hired. With the addition of full-time staff, AVP was able to broaden its services to provide professional counseling to victims of violence. AVP also began providing services to the victims of crimes other than hate crimes, such as domestic violence, sexual assault and HIV-related violence. In addition, AVP began to mobilize and train larger numbers of volunteers to assist crime victims and to participate in community organizing activities to respond to acts of violence.

Today, AVP is the crime victim assistance agency for the lesbian, gay, transgender and HIV/AIDS communities in New York City. AVP provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of crime victims each year from all five boroughs of New York City. The agency maintains a 24- hour crisis intervention hotline staffed by professional counselors and trained volunteers, provides professional and peer support counseling as well as police, court and social service advocacy and conducts training programs for law enforcement, victim service providers and hospital personnel. In addition to providing direct services to victims, AVP seeks to change attitudes that tolerate or instigate hate-motivated violence through public education campaigns, by working with organizations serving other communities victimized by hate-motivated crime and by organizing the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual community's response to violence.
I think gay is 'packaged' for the media into stereotypes that they can enjoy. The Madonna kiss with Brittany, the cute quirkey funny will n graces, the hot chicks on L word. But thats all not real life, it's sexy packaged. I think anti gay IS on the rise as the RIGHT wing is on the rise and puritanical thoughts, laws and quasi McCarthyism is also slowly, quietly on the rise. These things happen as people are more an more apathetical - very very few kids are political - especially in American. Very few seem angry about anything - i remember MY YOUTH which was filled with teen groups of the young socialists, the rock against racism concerts and the Glad to Be Gay anthems. But the youth now are fed on consumerism and believe that the dollar is the answer to their prayers. It is so not about any activism at all. And this goes for so many issues, the war, police injustice, government influence, race, immigration... etc etc - and of course queer issues - Don't you agree?
Again, it sort of reminds me of the days of Germanys fascism ...the rise of family values, the rise of people being promised this booming fruitful materialism, but the slow quiet persecution of the great "unwashed" (the jews, gypsys, queers etc)... and of course most people didn't bother, didn't care... as it didn't DIRECTLY affect them. I know this is an extreem comparrison but i think all what Sweetie, Lex etc are saying is part and parcel of a very right wing environment.... i think we HAVE to just educate the kids not to be so apathetical and to be aware of others and their lifestyles and exceptance and understanding. I sort of try my best to push this into my kid
"Human beings are all members of one body.
They are created from the same essence.
When one member is in pain,
The others cannot rest.
If you do not care about the pain of others,
You do not deserve to be called a human being."
A Quote from Persian Poet Saadi Shirazi
watching the politicians and religiously incorrect rush around trying to change all the laws is laughable. making churches over into political parties, it's an art form that gays and lesbians have this ability to make silly people spend fortunes on all these silly laws that will not stand for another generation.

and yes slavery was spread in the same way homophobia is spreading, church by church, town by town. for it was religion that sanctioned and inforced slavery america. religion that segregated itself early and forced america to bend to the will of these religiously incorrect leaders.

imagine what it took to get everyone in america to admit to slavery, the universal laws that had to be created, the pattern of thoughts that had to be unified. the punishments that had to be eeked out to creat and maintain slavery. imagine the laws against mixed race marriages that have been written into the laws in america, yet children can be forced to this day to marry adult men, and nothing is done about it.

so watch as homophobia solidifies. watch as people get caught in the illogic of it all. watch as these same people are ridiculed in twenty or thirty years as george washington is vilified for not giving up his slaves when he could have lived comfortably without the crueltyt of slavery. as the bible even supported slavery.

so be patient and be very visable, it irrates the hell of the religiously incorrect.

in love,

Wanted to post this earlier but ..... Last Friday night as i was walking home from Mr Black , I avoided what could have been a rathar bad , bashing or mugging or both. Its hard to say which it was considering its afterwards that you find out. However, I was lucky enough to still have my radar on. Its really been years since ive used it and im glad to know i still have it. ha! But seriously , I was folowed by two guys and as soon as i got to the long strip on Lafayette (near the Public Theater) they made their move. I got away but it made me think that they may have followed me from Mr Black , so be ona extra alert this summer if your walking home from any gay bars. Wink
It was two black guys with oversized shirts and hoods on. I actually felt like i was being followed before i even saw them (sounds stupid but true). but when i reached the long stretch of the street i turned and saw in my peripheral vision they were sort of walking faster then one of them went directly toward me and i sort of saw it out of the corner of my eye so i ran quickly across the street to the other side before he could grab me. I knew for sure they were after me when i got across the street and saw they turned and went quickly back the other way. It might have been a mugging since they didnt say any derogatory comments, but i really think they followed me from somewhere outside Mr Black. It all happend so fast , as these things do. I think they were surprised that i figured it out and bolted.
you left their territory rob, and were not 'drunk' enough to have a handicap that they could vantage. glad you are ok.

manhattan has never been a disney set, and as poverty and job loss continue to grow, there will be more violence in the city. it's not like the 1960's when there was tons of money rolling around and everyone could eat or feed someone. it's real bone chilling poverty now comming to america.

Im in LA right now. but i saw the news before i left and a young man was killed by 3 guys after he walked home from a club in Chelsea this weekend. They have surveilance footage of the suspects and 2 of them really seem like the ones i was talking about. It really shocked me. They bashed the boy so badly that he died a few hours later in the hospital. I suspect that he was hanging out in gay bar , but cant be sure since the news didnt say. Really sad. So be warned to really watch whats going on if you walk home alone this summer.
As your recent experience points out, these crimes aren't the cliche, late at night on an empty street in the bad part of town scenario. It can go down anywhere, almost anytime.

Since I have lived in the city I have been the subject of three attempted attacks. I say attempted because I was never finished off nor did the perps manage to rob me. In two of the incidents I did incur some punches to the head but like Rob I happened to just notice the perps closing in just in time to bolt out of the way before they could really put me on the ground. The last time was right off Riverside Drive around 96th St. in broad daylight at about 3PM on a Sunday. With plenty of people around on the street. The perps were three teenagers. They were surprised when the two blows they managed to land on the back of my head didn't floor me and in a second I was standing between two parked cars so they couldn't close in. By then an older woman on the other side of the street was screaming (on my behalf I guess) and the heavies ran off. I had a nice knot behind my ear as a souvenier for about a week. And of course at the time of the incident there wasn't a cop within eight blocks to be found.

The latest figures show something like over 50 percent of African American males in the city are unemployed. It is a very old story really, when the motive is robbery.

The thought occured to me the other day that we have a civil society seemingly intent on disadvantaging a whole population by keeping them out of work. And that the parameters of what can qualify a person to be criminalized now have been broadened to the point where if you are out of work for any length of time you are pretty much going to end up criminalized for something. -It's all so dysfunctional. Then the governement ( with our tax dollars ) ends up paying like forty grand a year to incarcerate each individual. It is almost as if we are taxed to criminalize a whole segment of the population and that is supposed to be some kind of societal favor on our behalf.

But I also wonder (in keeping with this topic) how many beatings are labelled as robbery attempts by the cops when they are really bias crimes against gays.

Another mark of a sick society is: one that openly encourages anti-gay attitudes and beliefs, then has to clean up after itself when the attitudes it encourages result in someone's beating or even death. Almost like the society is just pretending it is wrong to do violence to a gay person.
im really convinced that its a "combo" of robbery but targeted at gays to "kill 2 birds with one stone". Bad analogy i know but that's what i see it as. I think there is a big backlash because of the media saturated with gay images/issues (if you can call one big movie and a few TV shows/channels saturation). Its inevitable that the pendulum would swing the other way a bit.

Bush Calls for an Amendment Banning Same-Sex Nuptials

and you think that's bad:

American AIDS denialists are partly to blame for South Africa's backsliding AIDS policy. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the health minister, has described antiretrovirals as poisons. She is supported in these views by Roberto Giraldo, a New York hospital technologist who says AIDS is caused by deficiencies in the diet, and who served on President Mbeki's AIDS advisory panel in 2000. The minister promotes nutritional alternatives like lemons, garlic and olive oil to treat H.I.V. infection. Several prominent South Africans have died of AIDS after opting to change their diets instead of taking antiretrovirals.

Another American AIDS denialist, David Rasnick, a regular letter-writer to South African newspapers, absurdly claims that H.I.V. cannot be transmitted between heterosexuals. Mr. Rasnick now works in South Africa for a multinational vitamin company, the Rath Foundation, conducting clinical trials in which AIDS patients are encouraged to take multivitamins instead of antiretrovirals.

In the past, South Africa's Medicines Control Council acted swiftly to curb such abuses, and the Medical Research Council condemned AIDS denialism. But recent high-level political appointments of administration supporters to both bodies have neutered their influence. In South Africa, AIDS denialism now underpins a lucrative nutritional supplements industry that has the tacit, and sometimes active, support of the Mbeki administration." friends is it any wonder drunken idiots, on a rampage to steal from gay people/gay-bash or whatever, feel justified hubris in destroying the "plague of the gay?" The whole rest of the world is fast on the way towards institutionalizing our destruction.
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Kevin Aviance was hospitalized after being the victim of a gay bashing early Saturday morning outside The Phoenix. He had to have surgery to repair a badly broken jaw. He was beaten by 4 men. Will it take one of us being beaten to death to get this fucking community to wake up? For those of you who DO NOT walk the streets in garish make-up and heels, I can tell you the climate IS HOSTILE. That doesn't mean gay men dressed "normally" cannot be the victims of these animals. Standing outside my building not 3 hours ago, 3 white teens in a Mercedes pulled over, jumped out of the car and yelled "Fucking Faggot" and "AIDS SPREADER" as they walked towards me. When I got safely inside my door, they still walked up and kicked the door and kept screaming. This is not the ramblings of some timid queen. I have walked the streets of Manhattan in drag for 15 years and never felt the least bit uneasy. When I came in and heard about Kevin on the news, I felt I had to write this, maybe against my better judgement. This may sound absolutely nuts, but I will say in all honesty, IF I AM EVER GOING DOWN at the hands of one of these animals, I will do everything within my power to fight back. I would rather die fighting than submit myself to that kind of human shit. I swear to God I have never considered more seriously leaving this pathetic, souless, shit hole city. It just isn't THAT fabulous anymore.
No Sweetie, you are not alone in your reaction. one smear on that mercedes and those boys would have been up sh*ts creek with their daddys. this one, Sweetie,
is for all of us. and makes these threats so real for all of us. we are all being stalked not just by the radical religious we are being stalked by the weakest among them that have to attack at night in the dark in larger and larger groups. i can't tell you the manuevers i have used on the street to go around unrulely looking crowds of young guys, and that was the saturday night before last and along the same east 13th. because i live near the beacon theatre, i have seen these drunken idiots come out of concerts just ready to hurt anything on the street as they head back to their cars, at least it was only garbage cans that time.

it is all too real for all of us.

Iraq, Katrina'ed New Orleans, Avenue A, and your own front door. The social climate of intollerance and hate is a regression to ignorance, violence and social retardation that has not been in the lead since before the current political regime -we all know. This is the blank vision of the fear-mongers. There does not seem to be any large-scale organizations or institutions that specifically combat this condition. It reflects a wholesale breakdown in American liberty, the liberty that says everyone is free to be who they are and do what they want,excluding all violence. And this squelching of liberty is the REAl anti-Americanism.

Don't walk alone this summer. Anyone who lives in proximity to Avenue A or B could tell you now is not the time to be conspicuous there. This territory is innundated with tens of thousands of young people who do not reside in the community and who have brought values very foreign to its tollerance and openness. Especially at night when the circuit of cheap bars and lounges pollutes the zone with heedless, intoxicated Little Bush-era youths who look at this part of the city as their playpen. To these people NYC is a city populated by The Losers whose diversity and internationalism equates to an assault on the isolationist idea of Amerika. The backward youths have come here to buy us and be entertained and have us pay for the city to clean up after their recreational litter. And part of thier entertainment includes recreational violence against gays.

It is kind of weird to see in the NYTimes today a large article about Eve Ensler's vagina monologues festival 'crusade' that confuses entertainers with social workers -all about stopping violence to women and girls. This is a kind of cultural desperation. The whole tone of the article is one of bemusement as though there is some envy of Ensler's success in producing or sponsoring the productions of thousands of events and projects to combat gender-based violence. She isn't a social worker or social psychologist and producing ten years of entertainment-oriented 'consciousness-raising' events is not the same as changing a whole culture that on one end glorifies and feeds on hyperviolenece and on the other side newsifies the violence and puts civil authorities in charge of cleaning it all up. I guess if the only change amounts to that the word vagina can be put on a billboard and opposition to gender-based violence can be rallied in to and given a more public voice, that is a kind of progress. But it does not effect a change that is an actual stop to the violence. Yes, talking back is essential and important. But it can't be left to a socialite to do if there is going to be a real, substantive reduction in violence, otherwise we are all still left just treating the results of that violence, weirdly in Ensler's example, with a kind of festive entertainment that funds health clinics and such.

When will someone with actual political power in government institute an initiative to attack this problem? Let us not hold our breaths.

I do have some optimism however. Because I think the people who will do open, collective violence to gays are a small minority. The real problem now is the vast majority who will not for once just as collectively put an end to this kind of violence for all people.
????? Eve Ensler of the Vagina Monologues is not a 'socialite'...
she is a very productive writer, artist and activist who works very, very hard for lesbian and
Transgender politics as well as the rights of women!

Given the general apathy for these issues, it's a good thing when entertainers like actors and other 'stars' come out for these issues. I don't think their efforts should be down-graded.

Here is the article you mentioned

"That cultish 1996 Off Broadway show ultimately morphed into a nonprofit charity that has so far raised more than $35 million for programs designed to end violence against women. Worth magazine, in 2001, named V-Day one of the 100 best charities.

"Although "Monologues" has occasionally raised outcries from conservatives who complain that it promotes homosexuality and underage sex, performances have become something of a staple on college campuses.

"This year alone 1,150 colleges and communities put together 2,700 V-Day events, occurring on or near Feb. 14, Valentine's Day.

" 'The best time to act is when you're at a place of success, you have the energy to go forth,' Ms. Ensler said later over coffee. At 53, with her signature dark bob haircut, she looks much the same as she did when she first channeled many women's experiences for "Monologues." 'The way you get people to deal with something is to saturate them with it. I can feel everywhere in the city that I go that people are talking about it, thinking about it.'

"The power of her Rolodex "” all the festival celebrities and artists perform free "” can be seen in the schedule: Jane Fonda, Kathy Bates, Marian Seldes and Kerry Washington read Ms. Ensler's play "Necessary Targets," about women and war, this evening at Studio 54.

"Tomorrow women from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq and, yes, New Orleans will discuss the play and kick off a V-Day campaign for women in "conflict zones."
Last edited by S'tan
A new article about Kevin today:

The New York Times
June 12, 2006
Fourth Man Is Arrested After Attack on a Dance Recording Artist in the East Village

A fourth man was arrested yesterday in connection with the beating of a Manhattan singer who the police said was attacked by a gang of young men who kicked him, screamed anti-gay slurs at him and broke his jaw as the singer walked through the East Village early Saturday.

The man arrested by the police yesterday is Gregory Archie, 18, who lives on 21st Street, about seven blocks from where the attack took place. Two 20-year-old men and one 16-year-old boy were arrested on Saturday night in connection with the beating.

Mr. Archie and the three others were being questioned by detectives from the Police Department's hate crimes unit at the 13th Precinct station yesterday. All four have been charged with first-degree assault as a hate crime, the police said.

It was not immediately clear whether the police were seeking anyone else regarding the attack.

The singer, Kevin Aviance, was walking home about 1 a.m. Saturday after leaving a bar on East 13th Street when he was attacked. In an interview in his hospital room yesterday, Mr. Aviance, who has recorded several chart-topping hits, said he might have been attacked by only four people. He had previously told his publicist that as many as six or seven people had beat him unconscious.

The three arrested Saturday are Akino George, 20, of Townsend Avenue in the Bronx; Jarell Sears, 20, of Newark; and a 16-year-old Manhattan boy. The police had previously identified Mr. Sears as Sears Jarell.

Mr. Aviance, 38, said that he had not yet been shown pictures of the four suspects. He said that the thing he remembered most was the shoes. "They were wearing Air Force sneakers," he said, referring to a popular model made by Nike. "I can still hear their feet in my head."

In his room at Beth Israel Medical Center, surrounded by friends and dozens of roses, Mr. Aviance recounted the attack, saying that it started when one of the men shouted at him, using anti-gay slurs. "You're not diesel," someone shouted, in obscenity-laced language. "Who do you think you are?"

The men threw trash bags at him, and then one of them threw a spray can that missed him, prompting laughter from the other men, he said. "His friends are making fun of him," Mr. Aviance said. "He's angry." The young man who had thrown the can then punched Mr. Aviance, and the other men joined in the attack. As the men attacked him, Mr. Aviance recalled hearing people yelling at the attackers to stop. When it was over and he was lying on the street, a man named Tim approached him and walked him to the hospital. "He said, 'You're safe now,' " Mr. Aviance said.

When he was attacked, he was wearing black shorts, a black hooded T-shirt and black boots and was carrying a large bag.

In the more than 15 years he has lived in New York, Mr. Aviance said, he had never been attacked. A native of Richmond, Va., he grew up with supportive parents and seven siblings who chose different paths "” one became a pilot, another a preacher, a third an architect, he said. "A freak is really what I wanted to be," he said. "A revered freak."

In 1990, he moved to Miami, where he said he was adopted by a group of like-minded people into a collective known as the House of Aviance. He gave parties there and in Washington. He changed his name. After he moved to New York in 1992, Mr. Aviance became a familiar figure on the cabaret scene, a performance artist who recorded several dance hits and collaborated with stars, including Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson, he said.

Clarence Patton, the executive director of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, said Mr. Aviance had performed at many of his organization's functions. "He really has, in his time in New York and D.C., become a community figure," Mr. Patton said. "You can't deny that the man has a presence."

The police were not immediately able to provide statistics on the number of anti-gay bias crimes this year, but community activists said they often noticed a spike in June, in the weeks before the Gay Pride Parade, which is coming up in New York City on June 25.

The 16-year-old whom the police charged in the attack had been in his share of trouble since his mother died two years ago, said his grandmother, who lives with the teenager in an East Harlem apartment.

His mother became sick after a boyfriend abused her in front of the boy, and she died after having seizures, his grandmother said. "He's a good kid," she said.

The boy's grandmother said that on the night of the attack, she believed that he had gone to the beach with friends. When she went to the police station house yesterday, detectives told her about the charges against her grandson.

"I asked them if it was serious and they said very," she said. "I have a lot of prayers. I'm going to church right now to pray for him."

Mr. Patton said the attack on such a high-profile figure was likely to raise fears in the gay community.

"People will say: Here it is. Kevin Aviance in the East Village in boy's clothes, in a place that's supposed to be ours, getting beat up," he said.
Dear S'tan, I do not see a general apathy for concern about gender-based violence. There are thousands and thousands of private, community, non-gevernmental and governmental organizations around the globe, admittedly very small organizations, that have for many many decades combated the same conditions Ensler also opposes. So she did not invent her cause. She made it though a cause celebre. And of course she is very deserving of gratitude and support. What I see is a widespread complacency of the majority of people for stopping violence altogether. I very much appreciate your admiration and support for Eve Ensler. And there is nothing wrong or downgrading about her being a socialite and certainly a dilletante when it comes to social work, a very wealthy, and with some, a very influencial dilletante with a committment to make changes. Yes, good, she's done well. What I say is, we need to have a change to the way of life that produces violence as a routine. Being a dilletante social worker producing entertainment fundraisers and consciousness raising events to fund clinics and a kind of self-esteem pep rally obviously doesn't accomplish that. This doesn't mean those activities are wrong, useless or unimportant, on the contrary. There is a very very long cultural traditon for those methods of involvement. There sure should be a very large population of followers mobilized to speak out against gender-based violence and involved with financing efforts to treat the effects of that violence. But there needs to be an effort to change the nature of the society and culture that produce violence altogether. I hope saying so does not get me in to trouble with you.

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