Singer/Drag Queen Kevin Aviance left the hospital yesterday with his mouth wired shut and his leg in a brace following surgery after the brutal weekend gay bashing in Manhattan’s East Village. He was not able to speak with the throng of reporters outside the building but did mouth “thank you” as he was wheeled out, wearing a pair of dark sunglasses and one rainbow-colored sleeve.
Aviance will reportedly have his jaw wired shut for two and a half weeks.
Towleroad has heard that all four of the assailants involved in this violent hate crime (aged 16-20), who yelled “kill the faggot” as they pummeled Aviance unconscious, will be eligible to be tried as adults, including the 16-year-old. Each faces eight to 25 years if convicted of first degree assault as a hate crime.
Already there are signs that a cowardly “gay panic” defense could be in the works. WABC New York reports, “The cousin of one of the suspects tells Eyewitness News the group was not out to randomly attack a gay man, rather reacted when Aviance allegedly made a pass at the 16-year-old. Jay Rivera, Suspect’s Cousin: ‘My cousins, I know they had a part in it but they didn’t start because of them. They had no idea he was gay and he had came on to my friend.'”
Said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg shortly after hearing of the attacks: “Anybody that thinks they can get away with a hate crime is sadly mistaken. It was a disgrace.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is a lesbian, said, “What happened to Kevin over the weekend is just outrageous. I hope the district attorney prosecutes those responsible to the fullest extent of the law, and that this crime is prosecuted fully as the hate crime that it was.”
She also expressed anger at the reactions of pedestrians who watched as Aviance was beaten and did nothing: “When New Yorkers see a victim of a crime, they have a responsibility to pick up the phone and call 911. We can’t ever go back to the days of people just closing their windows when they hear someone in trouble.”
Aviance wants to sing at New York’s upcoming Gay Pride festival as planned, but will have to see how his recovery goes. Said Aviance (via his lawyer) of the beatdown: “You don’t know how it feels until this happens to you. It feels like someone pulled your soul out.”
Again, Kevin, best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Singer Kevin Aviance Hospitalized After Anti-gay Attack [tr]