Monday, October 12, 2009
Gay Man Of Color Beaten Into A Coma In Queens
While we marched and sang at yesterday's National Equality March, an out, proud gay man of color was fighting for his life after being beaten within an inch of his life by a pair of rabid homophobes who hurled slurs at him during their attack. 49-year-old Jack Price was beaten so severely he suffered a broken jaw, ruptured spleen, every one of his ribs were fractured, and his lungs both collapsed. He languishes in a coma, on a ventilator, in a city hospital as the NYPD hunts down the second of Price's two attackers.
Price's assailants reportedly taunted him in a deli near his home, then deliberately chased him, cornered him, and attempted to murder Price. Witnesses quoted one of the two thugs as screaming "My father's a C. O. [NYC Corrections Officer]! Nothing will happen to us!", echoing similar rants made by transwoman Carmela Etienne's attackers in St. Albans last summer. This prevailing sentiment that people can injure and kill gays and lesbians, and get away with it because we are "less than" our attackers, or that our mere existence is justifiable provocation, is increasing. The Anti-Violence Project's Kim Fountain told ABC News, "It's not just that people are being shoved or punched. It's that their lips are being split or they're ending up in the hospital or they're being murdered."
Public apathy towards these brutal incidents is nowhere more clearly reflected than in the silence of our political leadership, both here and on the state and national level. Another gay man of color hovers near death in the hospital, a victim of his rightful choice to be out and proud in his neighborhood, and I have yet to hear a peep about this from Mayor Bloomberg, his opponent Bill Thompson, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, or even Queens DA Richard Brown. What a way to return from marching in Washington for our right to be treated fairly and decently as human beings.