A gay man was gunned down in Greenwich Village early today by an armed bigot who hurled homophobic slurs at him — and claimed to be the Newtown, Conn. killer before the murder, police said today.
The 32-year-old Brooklyn victim, whose name has not been released, was walking with a pal on Sixth Avenue near West Eighth Street about midnight when they were approached by three Hispanic males, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
One man snarled homophobic slurs at the men and asked them if they were “gay wrestlers,” Kelly said.
The men continued moving and made a right onto West Eighth Street.
One of the Hispanic men left and the other two continued to follow the victim and another man.
Both the victim and another man with him were wearing tank tops, cutoff shorts and boots.
“Do you want to die here?” the shooter asked the victim.
He pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and shot him once in the cheek.
“It was a quickie. He shot him and he went straight to the ground,” said a bouncer at a nearby club. “Half his body was lying on the sidewalk and half was on the street.”
The man died shortly after at Beth Israel Hospital.
I am incredibly saddened by this story. This is the fourth hate crime committed against a gay man this month, the second just steps from Stonewall. There will be a candlelight vigil tonight in front of the Gray’s Papaya on 6th Ave and 8th St where the shooting took place. Please come if you can; reblog this even if you can’t make it. We should refuse to live in a place where we can’t walk down the street without being afraid of this happening to us. It’s disgusting and unbelievable.
I rarely post about human rights issues on this Tumblr, though not because I don’t believe that they deserve our wholehearted attention - maybe I feel like it does the discussion a disservice to be sandwiched in between nail art selfies and flash fiction about cats - but tonight I’d like to bring up a facet of the reporting on this atrocious crime that I haven’t yet seen discussed.
I hope it’s not too soon to be angry about this detail, one that obviously pales in comparison to the loss of a human life, but it bothers me greatly that the New York Post saw fit to include the following sentence: “Both the victim and another man with him were wearing tank tops, cutoff shorts and boots.”
I don’t want to accuse the reporters of bias or censure - almost certainly, they were trying to illustrate the scene, or perhaps to provide clues into why the perpetrators came to the conclusion that the victim was gay in the first place - but to me, including this information smacks of describing a rape victim as wearing a short skirt. Any sort of sartorial editorializing, whether it’s remarking upon stilettos or neon shoelaces, hotpants or jorts, seems to presuppose at least a certain amount of blame, and assigning any blame, however oblique, upon the victims of these crimes is unacceptable.
I am thinking about writing to the New York Post (ha ha yeah I know), so if you have any comments, support or concern about whether or not I’m overreacting/this is a good idea at all, please feel free to reblog, Tumblr-ask, or email me at <name> at gmail.