How To Avoid a Gay Bashing

20 May

We have no shortage of rules when it comes to identity politics, but there are virtually none regarding the specifics of dealing with gay bashings.

Why is that?

A man named Mark Carson was killed at point blank range after his assailant asked him if he was gay in New York City. I’ve been asked if I was gay in New York City, very publicly, once while standing in a subway waiting for a train at night. I had been drinking with friends with another inebriated stranger asked all of us if we were gay, and I was defensive, asking him “who cares?”

“I just think it’s cool, man” the stranger said while walking away.

How do you survive a gay bashing? How can you tell who is a gay basher, and how can you avoid such an incident? I googled the phrase and I didn’t find anything solid. I found links to stories on gay beatings and gawker articles replete with commentators blaming the victim for being too flamboyant. I’m starting to think society has no opinion on avoiding a gay bashing because it expects it, in some way, from men. The gay bashing is a logical end to everything men hold sacred, that is, masculinity, heroism, testosterone fueled bravery. The gay bashing is one of many end products of a culture that devalues the feminine and exalts the most violent tendencies of the masculine.

I’ve heard stories from women about how they have to walk home with keys placed between their fingers in case a man attacks them. They think a man can’t imagine that terror, but man can, if that man grew up poor. I lived in an apartment complex infested with the LNX 13 gang who hung from bannisters like gargoyles looking over their marked territory, and they would poke and prod you while guffawing with their friends. I lived in a terror that didn’t even feel like a terror, and I was afraid before I knew I was gay, and I feel like the compound terror of being poor, then gay, then American and subject to bombing has just desensitized me to the whole enterprise of fear.

What is there to fear if you are expected to be afraid of it all? I don’t think I’m afraid. I’m practical.

I’m not an expert on how to avoid getting gay bashed or attacked on general principle, but I’ve made it far in life without getting attacked, so I do have some insights to offer that go beyond the after-school special tips

How to Avoid Getting Gay Bashed:

1) Avoid large groups of men. Yep, I know, not politically correct is it? Large means they outnumber you, and notice there is no skin color indicator to men. I find that toxic masculinity tends to just infest a whole slew of wonderful skin tones whose mommas and poppas thought “boys being boys” means they didn’t have to do any parenting.

2) Only answer to your name while on the street. My name is not “hey you” or “‘EY ‘EY” so I won’t even be turning my head to face you.

3) Do not engage, put on a stone face and walk into a crowd. The worse thing you can do is engage or try and start a wank-off with these idiots. They are cowards and are looking for an excuse to pull out their weaponry.

4) If all else fails. Being nuts beats being masculine. Bite them and gouge their eyes out. Spill their blood and listen to the lamentations of their descendants in your head. This last one is roughly translated from something my grandma said in spanish.

I would love for all communities to talk about this as my input is nothing in the great sea of experience. I’m open to hearing about this. I’ve long past the realm of “don’t be afraid” and into the realm of just not giving a crap. The only other thing I would say is don’t change who you are out of fear of being attacked. I think, in many ways, I did this subconsciously because I feared when I was so young. It isn’t worth it.




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