Assaulted: True Experience
by BPK80, Mon Jun 09, 2008 at 11:45:08 AM EDT
I don't even know where to begin cause over the course of the primary I've become a very active member here, but I've avoided the blogs this weekend, not because of the sadness of Hillary's concession (something on which I ordinarily would have been enthused to share an opinion) but because of a really bizarre and unforeseeable event.
On Friday night, I was out at one of the local GLBT bars and an acquaintance I recognized was very intoxicated. After the bar closed, it's customary for people to hang out in front for a while and I stayed there and kept an eye on this guy to make sure he, as he promised, walked to the nearby convenience store, got food, and waited a while before driving home.
After most of the people left, I was still socializing. It had been a while since I'd gone out to that place so I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in months. One person was a friend of an acquaintance I had never met before who was upset about a bad relationship and needed an ear. So I listened.
We sat/crouched down in front of the bar and he explained in greater detail how his partner was taking him for granted, being distant & evasive, and basically everything one would expect to hear in a standard country song, minus of course the same sex status.
I was wearing a Hillary for President 2008 T-Shirt and jeans.
After 15 minutes, a man approached, someone I had never seen before. He was gay, a bit high-strung, appeared to be either part African-American, Latino, or Mediterrean, and looked to be approx. 25 years of age, which would be a few years younger than me. The first thing he said was, "look at the two of you getting close there, disgusting."
Not being accustomed to swallowing random insults from strangers, I replied,
"Well, you don't have to stay here if we're bothering you that much."
He sat down directly accross from me and started raining down insults and threats, which initially seemed more like a harmless repartee than something sinister. But his insults soon took on a new form beginning with,
"Look at you. You're so ugly. With your big eyes and that pale skin. One of those ugly pale-skinned blue eyed trolls. Ugly."
(FYI I don't consider myself ugly)
"Pale skinned big eyed troll," he repeated.
It seemed he was trying to bruise my ego. I got more defensive than offensive. I said, "I don't really mind having a Northern European look, most of the guys I date seem to rather like it."
He countered, "Oh hell no. Ethnic is what's in. I have the ethnic look. You are not fashionable. In fact, you are no one in this gay world. Look at you with that pale skin, those brown shoes and black socks."
I said I didn't mind not fitting in with the gay scene, and he went a bit further, now saying I was a "thin lipped pale skinned blue eyed troll. Ugly." (I think he had said ugly over a dozen times in 5 minutes).
He reiterated his claim that he was more "fashionable" because he had an ethnic look and that no guy would ever want me. I didn't know what to think cause it felt like I was getting some random critique on my appearance from RuPaul.
He said he wanted to fight and I said no, b/c of my profession. I told him if he hit me, I'd press charges & sue him. He laughed and called me a "pussy" several times.
Then he said, "tell me. Where are you from?"
I answered, "from here originally (Pennsylvania)."
"Well I lived in Charlotte, North Carolina where I met and made friends with many African Americans, Latino Americans, and Asians," he said proudly.
"Ok, that's good," I shrugged. If he was trying to compare egalitarian "creds," I could have gone off on a litany of civil rights work & volunteer work I've done for minority communities, but I figured, "what's the point." The relevance and timing of his statement were lost on me. But that statement is pretty much verbatim. I am really glad there were multiple witnesses there because his words were so bizarre (we think he may have been on something) that they didn't make sense, being part pseudo-intellectual and part... aimless?
"Have you ever been to Charlotte?" he asked.
I thought the hostility died down and there was little interaction with him for the next two or three minutes and then he stood up. I was still sitting crouched on the ground. He said,
"Just stand up, pussy."
"No. I'm not getting in a fight here."
He was silent for about 30 seconds. I was sitting across from two other people crouched, with a cigarette in my left hand and my glasses in my right hand.
Suddenly, and without warning, from above, ke kicked me in the head four times and then lunged at me with punches. I instinctively moved my glasses behind me and stood up and fended him off, and two people around intervened to restrain him. I called 911. He fled the scene. I got dizzy and almost fell back into the wall when the police were asking me questions. Someone caught me and kept me afloat. I went to the ER. I gave a statement to the police and they asked if I wanted to press charges and I said "yes."
Later that night, this guy logged into a local gay chat room and bragged about having "kicked the shit out of [me]" and referred to me as a "faggot." I have a copy of the transcript.
I have had a history of experience with migraines and have always been particularly sensitive to head-trauma. My head has been feeling odd and hurting for most of the weekend. I sincerely hope it goes away.
My mom, bless her heart, said, "You have to be careful these days with that Hillary shirt anymore."
I'm in contact with the police and I see there's a basis for a hate crimes charge, potentially both on race and on sexual orientation.
The reactions to what happened that night have been a mix of awe and outrage. I'm aware that if charges are filed this has potential to be a local news typhoon: Anti-White Hate Crime against Man in Hillary Shirt and frankly don't know what I would do. But having heard from many people, it seems what happened to me has intensified high passions and rawness about the racial tension the primary has engendered. It's really bad on the ground here, and that's an understatement. I'd gotten a few snide comments about my Hillary shirt in convenience stores, etc. but nothing this intense until Friday.
Since we have a close-knit community here at MyDD, I wanted to share the experience, and it's also relevant to a lot of what we've been going through. I have mixed feelings and have a lot of things to continue thinking through. If more develops, I'll keep the community posted as much as I can.
Thanks for reading.Update [2008-6-9 16:40:25 by BPK80]: I did not say my campaign T-Shirt was the sole determinative basis for the attack. It is relevant as one of many factors and as a practical matter that it taken as a whole, if the charges go really public, it's going to be a factor in public perception in my opinion. There are pictures from that night and the appearances they create are whatever they will be in the beholders' eyes. It's likely to come up in questioning. But the shirt is not the focus of the diary.