We know we’re a little late to the plate on this one, but we feel we should say something about the hate crime that took place in our neighborhood over the weekend. Singer and drag performer Kevin Aviance (who was not in costume at the time) was beaten by a handful of young men on 14th street between Ave A and 1st Ave. They screamed anti-gay slurs, dragged him to the curb, and broke his jaw. Needless to say, this is a tragedy, and an outrage.
We live a block away from where the attack happened. It occurred within walking distance of half a dozen gay bars, steps away from the neighborhood’s largest Catholic church, and on a street that is always well-traveled (hence the publicist quote in the Times, "There were pedestrians everywhere. No one helped him.").
We don’t know more about the incident than anybody who can read the paper, but what we do know is that the residents of our section of Alphabet City are, on the whole, tolerant. It's not the safest, or most adorable neighborhood in the city, but we’ve remarked more than once that it is perfectly comfortable to walk down the street holding your boyfriend’s hand – unlike walking around, say, on the Upper East Side, Midtown, or in Harlem. Nobody stares, and nobody says anything. The families, the students, the churchgoers, the bodega owners – everyone who is in the neighborhood during the day doesn’t even bat an eye.
So it doesn’t surprise us that the two adult attackers are from the Bronx and Newark. That’s the kind of hate that you have to import.