Crime | Kevin Aviance | Music | New York

Singer Kevin Aviance Hospitalized After Anti-gay Attack

Kevin_aviance_2Singer Kevin Aviance underwent jaw surgery last night after a group of men shouting anti-gay slurs attacked him at approximately 1:30 am Saturday morning in New York's East Village, leaving him unconscious. Two of the men, 20-year-olds Akino George of Townsend Avenue in the Bronx and Sears Jarell of Newark, along with 16-year-old Gerard Johnson, and Gregory Archie, 18, have been arrested and charged with first degree assault as a hate crime.

Aviance, whose songs "Din Da Da" and "Alive" were chart-topping Billboard dance hits, performs in drag but was wearing his everyday street clothes and carrying his performance outfit in a bag when he was attacked after leaving the Phoenix bar on E. 13th Street.

His publicist Len Evans gave a few details to the NYT: "They dragged him to the curb. There were pedestrians everywhere. No one helped him. They kept using these words. They said, 'You're not diesel.' He didn't know what that meant."

BeatingAviance told the New York Daily News that the men shouted after him: "We're going to kill you, faggot!...We're going to get you, faggot!" He added, "I thought they were going to kill me. I was thinking 'Is this the way I'm going to die?' I've been doing this for 15 years and I've never been harassed. If anything people approach me with warmth." Of the gang who attacked him, Aviance said, "They were not human."

The six or seven men who punched and attacked Aviance also stole his cellphone and wallet "and threw objects at him, including a spray can that one of them had fished out of a trash bin."

Aviance was scheduled to sing at next week's Gay Pride events in NYC, but those events have been cancelled as his "jaw is now wired shut."

Towleroad sends best wishes to Kevin for a speedy recovery.

Drag Queen Beaten in E. Village Horror [nydn]
3 Arrested in Attack on Singer on East Side [nyt]

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Still more evidence that the constant drumbeat of hatred pushed by the Right seems to give permission to these street thugs to attack people at will. . .

    I am increasingly becoming aware of why there are growing numbers of gays joining organizations like the Pink Pistols.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jun 11, 2006 12:23:49 PM

  2. It’s not just the straight right either but the gay right who lends itself as a tool of hate by making the suggestion that this type of beating has as much to do with the overt gayness of the victim as it does with homophobia. Plenty of gay people contribute to the vilification of the gay fringe by speaking against drag queens, Transgenders, queens, butch dykes, etc. because they too have been influenced by homophobia much of which is likely subconscious. But don’t think for a minute that there aren’t plenty of gay people who saw this story – along with the pictures of the victim that accompanied it – and thought to themselves, “Well look at him. He’s a total queen. What do you expect?”

    Not that I’m blaming the gay right for this beating or holding them culpable in the development of homophobia in our society. I’m just making a correlation.

    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Jun 11, 2006 12:49:12 PM

  3. I'm with Kevin on this. Though I'm not a member of the Pink Pistols (yet), my "insurance" against thugs like this is a Glock 9mm. Thank god Florida allows concealed firearms. I'm definitely renewing my license next year.

    Posted by: Patrick | Jun 11, 2006 12:51:13 PM

  4. "But don’t think for a minute that there aren’t plenty of gay people who saw this story – along with the pictures of the victim that accompanied it – and thought to themselves, “Well look at him. He’s a total queen. What do you expect?”"

    Um, who's saying that? Maybe it's just me, but that comes off as projecting.

    Posted by: Jefferson | Jun 11, 2006 12:53:44 PM

  5. To Chad (hanging himself), never blame the victim of a hate crime. You make No valid points. Whether you are 'feme or a football stud, if you are pummelled because you are gay, is a HATE crime. NO excuses. The people involved in the assault should be sent away for a very long time. Maybe in prison, they will get to learn what 'man love' is all about.

    Posted by: Andrew | Jun 11, 2006 1:12:44 PM

  6. Utter shock.

    I wish I was there to give Kevin a huge hug. In the meantime, I will cry out with rage.

    Posted by: Steven | Jun 11, 2006 1:30:48 PM

  7. be careful what you wish for

    Posted by: strikefour82 | Jun 11, 2006 1:30:50 PM

  8. Chad, my apologies. I re-read your post (several times), and I do get it. I agree. The self-loathing, and bashing withen the gay community has caused a backlash in the 'straight community'. They cite quotes from our own community to back up their hate. My apologies for reading it incorrectly the first time around.

    Posted by: Andrew | Jun 11, 2006 1:34:23 PM

  9. and BTW, I do know how to spell 'within'. Sorry for the typo.

    Posted by: Andrew | Jun 11, 2006 1:40:58 PM

  10. Equally disturbing is the news that no passers-by bothered to try and help. I realize that a fight involving seven violent young men can be frightening, one? NO ONE tried to help in some way? What does that tell you about the people in that neighborhood and their sense of powerlessness? We've got a lot to do, folks.

    Posted by: J.C. | Jun 11, 2006 2:00:23 PM

  11. Another homophobic attack in NYC by a group of blacks against one guy. Which is what most NYC anti-gay attacks involve. Which is why blaming Republicans for this is ridiculous (I bet those thugs don't even vote or read). Which is also why the politically correct activists won't harp on this as much as if they were white attackers.

    Posted by: Joe T. | Jun 11, 2006 2:09:08 PM

  12. Thanks Andrew. I re-read it too after being surprised by the reaction to my post and I guess I could have done a better job of articulating my point. Thanks again for keeping an open mind.

    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Jun 11, 2006 2:55:21 PM

  13. P.S. Joe, I didn't say "gay republican" and I said "gay right" and I wasn't "blaming" them. I was simply making a correlation.

    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Jun 11, 2006 2:56:44 PM

  14. sickening

    Posted by: CriticlRN | Jun 11, 2006 3:08:57 PM

  15. As a New Yorker, I was shocked and disgusted when I heard the news on the radio last night. I can't help but think that this atrocity is directly related to this week's FMA circus and the Macy's fiasco.

    Dear Lord, is Kevin Aviance the neoStonewall's Judy Garland? How very postmodern...

    Posted by: Anon | Jun 11, 2006 3:17:37 PM

  16. Re: Joe's racist comment:

    I am so not surprised that someone had to go there, conveniently forgetting that, well, according to that picture, Kevin Aviance is *black*. Which makes me amazed that this is even getting press in the mainstream gay press, except for the fact that Aviance is an entertainer and that makes him palatable. This is happening all the time, it's often black on black gay/lesbian crime, and the mainstream white gay press and community could give a crap about it. Unless the victim is young/white/good-looking/affluent, it's like gay bashing doesn't exist.

    So maybe this is progress.

    Posted by: Charles | Jun 11, 2006 6:00:23 PM

  17. Charles: That's true too. But I also think the gay press covers stories at length, not only because of the victim's characteristics, but of those of the attackers. Too many gay activists (especially those left over from the Civil Rights era) are still trying to set up the battlefield like this: racist, homophobic, Christian, white, heterosexual males against blacks, gays, Mexicans, non-Christians, etc. (who should all be united against the first group!) The world is FAR from working that way, no matter how much they wish for it, no matter how much the activists are always praying, wishing, hoping for a high profile attack by white males, white males they hope are racist AND homophobic. Of course not all gay activists are this illogical, but there is a trend for them to lean that way. It will be interesting to see how they react to this case. (And we all hope Aviance heals completely, and soon).

    Posted by: Joe T. | Jun 11, 2006 6:37:57 PM

  18. My best wishes for a speedy recovery. Its appalling that things like this happen, and hope that those involved get put away for a long time.

    Posted by: Matthew Blank | Jun 11, 2006 7:11:46 PM

  19. Last summer, the Anti-Violence Project put out a report about anti-gay violence. Sadly, like Charles said. most of the crimes are straight black folk beating up on black gay folk and the cases are rarely covered. Hopefully Aviance will heal quickly, but at some point we are going to have deal with the level violence too many of us have to face. And Chad Hanging's comments are right on target.


    Posted by: James | Jun 11, 2006 8:02:30 PM

  20. I'm just getting sadder and more disheartened by all the reports of violence against people these days: hatred because of religion (a nauseating irony) & violence against homosexual men and women all around the world, more shocking in my own NYC!

    I can't help but think things are actually getting worse. That's no way to view the world at my age - 32, is it?

    Posted by: K. | Jun 11, 2006 8:25:53 PM

  21. They won't get covered because it's fairly obvious that white gay men don't give a shit about you and whether you live or die if youre not white or maybe a hot latino. If it's black men in danger from other black men, it's no big deal as long as it doesnt come into *my* neighborhood-which is another reason I think this is news, it took place in the E. Village, not in East New York.

    And to Joe T.-again, to me, this seems like you are getting off on the fact that "it's those blacks again-it's always them."

    Posted by: Charles | Jun 11, 2006 8:31:59 PM

  22. Charles: If I am "getting off" on it, I bet I'm not getting off as much as some gay activists did when they heard one of the Duke University accused might be guilty of a homophobic attack too. Ohhhh, they salivated, a white Catholic (almost as bad as Protestant) athlete who is racist and homophobic! Hooray!!! (wrong on both counts, so the now the activists just...hushed away). I agree with you, though, about the gay press reacting to gay black-on-black crime, but isn't that sort of reflective of general media as a whole? White on white crime (or inter-racial crime) they consider more interesting to their readers, while black-on-black crime is seen as just business as usual. Which of course isn't fair.

    Posted by: Joe T. | Jun 11, 2006 8:46:55 PM

  23. P.S.: On a core level, though, this REALLY ticks me off: the thought of 6 bullies together ganging up on one queen. Real tough guys, huh?

    Posted by: Joe T. | Jun 11, 2006 8:51:16 PM

  24. Why are we suggesting that the pretty-missing-white-girl syndrome is unique to the gay community? It's not. All you need to do is trip over the remote and let the TV turn on to see that fucking Natelle Holloway all over the place. The next time you hear the TV announcer mention an upcoming story about a missing woman you don't even need to watch it to know they're talking about a white girl. That's the standard value we place on human life in this country. If anything, it's much less so in the gay community. Gays are hyper aware of racism because they know the anti-gay discrimination they've experienced comes from precisely the same mindset that racism comes from.

    Once I saw in the Castro a shrine to Mathew Shepard with flowers and cards on this bulletin board and such. Around this time there was a story of a young black girl who was raped and murdered (maybe the one in Las Vegas) and the story was all over the news for weeks. Someone put up a card on that bulletin board that said, “Where are all the cards for the black girl who just got murdered?” so I put up a card that read, “Where are all the shrines to Mathew Shepard in the black community?”

    Given the degree to which those in the gay community are expected to lend themselves as an advocate to discrimination in general, particularly racism, I would have been called a racist if I had been caught putting my card up.

    As I mentioned, I recognize the degree to which the media reflects the value we place on human life (age, gender, beauty, ethnicity, class, etc.) but I absolutely object to any suggestion that this dynamic is as prevalent in the gay community than it is anywhere else. No other community spends as much time & effort being all-inclusive in their anti-discrimination awareness as we do.

    The gay community is no more racist than the black community is anti-gay.

    Posted by: Chad Hanging | Jun 11, 2006 8:58:48 PM

  25. Well, a lot of the black gay guys I know (not me, since I am a suburban black gay guy) are *tough*-they *have* to be to survive since they don't have the cushion and support of a gay neighborhood to live in and a too large number of them dont have support from, well...anyone-a large chunk of their families, the thugs in the neighborhood that see them as easy targets, the gays in Chelsea or the Village that dont view them any differently from those that bash them-they can fight because they wouldnt stand a chance if they couldnt. So maybe those thugs thought they needed that many guys to attack this one guy.

    Posted by: Charles | Jun 11, 2006 9:01:29 PM

  26. 1 2 3 4 »

Post a comment


« «« «