New Yorkers March Against Anti-Gay Violence

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New Yorkers marched against violence on Saturday in reaction to the gay bashing of Kevin Aviance. Towleroad correspondent Aaron B. sends in this report with photos, noting that more people may have showed up to the hastily organized event (including this blogger) with more lead time, but it still appeared to be a lively event anyway.

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Writes Aaron:

The turnout seemed surprisingly sparse at 2PM, and it was pretty subdued. A woman with a Caribbean accent asked me what the fuss was about, and when I told her, she was glad to see the protest. She had been very upset about the Aviance story. She had lived in the neighborhood for 26 years, and had always felt safe until she herself had been attacked last year. “But the thing is,” she said, shaking her head,” it’s 2006, and people shouldn’t be hating like that anymore.” Nobody else really put any more succinctly than she had.

The crowd filled out a bit by 2:45 when the rally began with City Council member Rosie Mendez (“the other lesbian on the city council”), State senator Tom Duane, and Event “host” Hedda Lettuce, alone in full drag. Still, the crowd didn’t catch fire until we started marching across 13th Street towards 7th Avenue, where we seemed to pick up marchers along the way. Signs that had been carried low were raised high, and chanting began, the crowd favorite being “This is New York City, Bitch! You Can’t Fuck with Us!”, the refrain from ” This is New York City, Bitch!”, a song by “tranny super-group” LaMady which includes Aviance. Suddenly we started feeling like an event as cars honked in support as we crossed intersections.

By the time we reached Sheridan Square, energy was appropriately high as La Aviance himself was there in full makeup to express his appreciation. Several speakers followed. I drifted away when Michael Lucas took the mic because it always seems like he has his own axe to grind. The crowd was a mixed bag which included nightlife promoters Jonny McGovern, Daniel Nardicio and Max Scott, DJs Randy Bettis, Jon Jon Battles and James Andersen, singer Billy Porter, pornstars Jake Deckard and Will Clark and an out-of-drag Sherry Vine among others. I was a little surprised and disappointed that the crowd wasn’t bigger.

I figured that if I was going to drag my lazy, gay ass downtown to protest my right not to be randomly beaten up that every other queen in the city would too, especially since the beating was so widely covered in the media. But as I walked through Chelsea afterward, I ran into a couple of friends who had no idea that there had been a march at all, and probably would have gone if they had known. It was an impressive showing for such short notice, but a little more lead time and more publicity might have made a much bigger and much needed statement.

Here are some additional shots taken by Aaron at the march. Aaron writes The Shophound, a blog about the retail scene in New York.

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Video (thanks jordy):

Gays March on, Despite Beating of Star, Others [nydn]

Comments

  1. jimmyboyo says

    sadly, not surprising

    too many of our own want the freedom to party at clubs without having to pay the price of a little time for a good cause/ marching

    i loved the Mutnt Power sign

    LOL former comic geek when growing up…LOL

  2. James says

    I’m sensing more shock and anger about Kevin’s attack than the ones that happened in NYC last summer. Maybe something good can come out of this attack.

    peace

  3. jimmyboyo says

    pretty fucking sad that Stephen Dorff was getting more posts than the march

    so here is an extra post to make it even

    pretty fucking sad statement on our community

  4. Giovanni says

    Was there – really wanted to stay home and watch the usa/italy game but hey – you gotta represent – so off we went and even made the local news (dvr got a real work out this weekend) though we (the bf) appeared to be window shopping as opposed to protesting: ) Was pretty disheartening to see such a small crowd but everything/one counts so…

  5. says

    What are they protesting? Kudos to the good intentions, but having lived in the East Village from 1989 to 2004, I cannot help to think that *maybe*, if folks got out of the bars for more than a march, the city might do business differently…

    I worked at ‘The Bar’ on Fourth Street and Second Avenue back in the day – and there were times people came in with the faces razored. There were even full-on riots, which lead to hearings and actions by the authorities because the community demanded it.

    But then again, Giuliani did ruin the city for any kind of community building – the bastard. Giuliani probably subsidized the rents of these attackers.

    But then again, how can an Aviance pull thousands for a drugged-out party in Chelsea, but few show up for a real-life issue. Oh, our community. God Bless you brave souls…

    This is my first official blog comment ever. Thanks.

  6. says

    I’m extremely proud of the dedicated people who turned out on Sat to peacefully, passionately, powerfully and positively protest hatred and violence. The crowd may not have been enormous, but the press coverage was! Thank you my fellow-marchers for a significant & meaningful effort.

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