By Paul Jacek
Curious. Saddening. Not unusual.
As I begin to write this blog, I went back to do a bit of research. As I Googled, “gay basing in NYC”, I was horrified to find out….I had several choices. Some of the incidents ended in murder.
To watch the video of the beating in Chelsea’s Dallas BBQ, is stunning and shocking. The black, bearded gentleman, is clearing intending to maim and kill. Over a spilt drink?
Having had the experience of being gay bashed, in broad daylight, in Los Angeles, I can tell you, it’s very hard to watch this.
They are looking for the bearded guy. No amount of words, or actions, excuse his behavior, and the fact it has been videotaped, SOMEONE must know him.
He must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If the situation were reversed, I believe we’d see a different outcome. Why?
Racial tension is high in the country. White man beating black man? Riots in the streets. Understandable. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THIS.
However, in the case of a gay man. It is a bit of news. Then, it’s not.
My best friend Bill and I were walking down Santa Monica Blvd from work on Valentine’s Day 1992. On our way to a fast food joint.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, 3 white guys, mid-20’s jumped us. Screaming…”FAGGOTS, KILL FAGGOTS” and I was slammed up against a parking meter, and was being punched in the face, and head. I could see Bill, was pinned against a brick wall, and the kid was using him as a punching bag. Repeated blows to his abdomen.
The kid’s face was inches from mine as he grabbed my head, and slammed it into the parking meter. I remember thinking…”Why are you doing this? I don’t even know you…”
Suddenly, I felt him slump against me, and jump off.
An elderly, Armenian woman was swinging a broom, and had connected with my assailant’s head. She started poking the kid who was beating Bill like a champion jouster. The kid doubled over, and the 3 ran away.
She led us into her storefront. Her English wasn’t very good. My Armenian is worse. But, her care and concern, transcended language. Cool cloths, and many pats and Bill and I started to take stock of what had just happened.
We phoned work, from the lady’s phone. Next call was to the Police. The dispatcher said, “Oh, by the French Market, we got that.”
“NO, we are east on Santa Moncia Blvd, by Western Ave.”
“OK, we’ll get someone there.” A bored reply.
So, Bill and I waited. And waited. And waited.
The lady had to close shop. We were nervous to be outside. But we stayed in the alcove of her front door. And waited.
9pm. We decided to go home.
Bill called the Police, and we were told they would contact us.
I’m still waiting. Over 20 years later.
Bill actually had more cuts and bruises than I did. My back is still tender from the parking meter.
Bill died in 1993. It became a joke between us. “Oh, yeah…LAPD called….” And we would ruefully look at each other.
Hate crimes, in America are not uncommon. Being gay, in many parts of the world is illegal, and, in many places in the Middle East, punishable by death.
I hope they catch the guy. Selfishly, I want him to do jail time. I want him made an example.
Still, as I walk, I keep an eye out.
Could happen again. I hate it.