August 29th, 2002


Queer-bashing South of Market

Besides my teeth, another reason I haven’t posted recently is because a friend of mine got queer-bashed the other night. I wasn’t really ready to write about it, yet felt like there was nothing else meaningful enough to write about.

I included a link, * but basically my friend, M, was at a Drag King event at a club South of Market when this woman who was being removed by security hit her friend E in the face. E followed her outside, and the woman tried to hit her again so E knocked her down with one punch. Unfortunately the big, crazy boyfriend saw this and started beating on E. The article doesn’t do this part the ugly justice it deserves. This huge guy had E down on the ground kicking her head and trying to kill her, all the while yelling homophobic, sexist and racist slurs. My friend M pulled him off her and got hit a number of times herself before the assailants finally fled.

Yesterday, E and M were just told that the hate crime charges have been dropped on the man and the woman’s charges have been dropped altogether. They are seeking legal advice, and have a lot of support, but local folks should be ready to make some phone calls or attend some legal proceedings/demonstrations. I’ll keep you posted.

There are lots of questions I don’t know the answers to. Where were the clubs bouncers? They were escorting these people out when the incident happened. Why didn’t any of the numerous dykes around do anything while E, another dyke, was lying, bleeding, on the ground in the fetal position, while a guy was kicking her in the head and body? And why were the hate crime charges** dropped when 12 witnesses testified to what was being done? How much of this has to do with the fact that E is a working class, queer of color rather than a white girl?

The only humorous moment occurred when the haters fled from police into The Eagle, a gay leather bar down the street. Still not thinking clearly, they tried to start some shit in there, and the arrival of the police was the only thing that kept them from getting beaten themselves. According to third hand information, the patrons asked the police to leave and let them handle it. Unfortunately, the police refused.

*This wasn’t covered in the SF press at all except for the Bay Area Reporter, a gay weekly. Walnut Creek, where the haters live, is in Contra Costa County.

**I have *some* mixed feelings about hate crime laws. Who qualifies, how the charges get decided upon, who ultimately defines the laws, the technicalities of deciding what a person is thinking while committing a crime, etc. But I don’t really have the energy to get into it right now.
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