Public Displays of Affection


The following events took place during the first half of 2013:


Nick Porto and Kevin Atkins were walking along the street in New York, hand in hand, when several men clad in identical basketball vests shouted at them from behind, knocked them to the ground and beat them, while passersby took photos and video on their phone.


Also in New York, 32-year-old Mark Carson was walking with a companion in lower Manhattan early Saturday morning. A man trailed and taunted the men, yelling antigay slurs and asking one of them, “You want to die tonight?,”  Authorities said the man used a silver revolver and killed Carson by shooting him in the face at point blank range.


A 22-year-old Mississippi man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of an openly gay candidate for mayor of Clarksdale, Miss.  The body of Marco McMillian, 34, was found near a Mississippi River levee 10 miles from Clarksdale.


22-year-old Victor Diego, who identifies as both gay and transgender, was attacked May 30 while leaving work in Hollywood. Diego sustained two fractured ribs, a shattered cheekbone and a broken jaw after being jumped by a group of men.


In Atlanta, a 20 year-old gay man was attacked while leaving a grocery store.. The man was punched in the head and was pushed to the ground. Two men and a juvenile surrounded the victim and repeatedly punched and kicked him while the group yelled anti-gay epithets.  One if the men picked up a tire and struck the victim with it. The group also stole the victim’s cell phone. A fourth person, also with the defendants, recorded the assault using a cell phone. The video footage was posted to the Internet.


In Seattle, Jason Jacobs was walking through Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood shortly after midnight  when he was approached by three men and two women who began taunting him with anti-gay epithets.  The altercation apparently occurred after the group noticed his pink shirt and shoes. The group is then said to have chased Jacobs, 37, down the street before attacking him, leaving him with a broken nose and cuts to his face and knees, according to the report.


This is a picture of Maurice and I kissing after we exchanged wedding vows.  It was a magical day for both of us.  We had a small ceremony conducted by our minister and two great friends were our witnesses.  Our church is a safe haven.  We can openly kiss, hug, put our arms around each other and hold hands.  Sadly, we have only a few safe havens.

Sure, there’s always West Hollywood, San Francisco’s Castro District, Miami’s South Beach, Provincetown Mass, or one the other gay meccas throughout the USA, but we’re not interested.  We enjoy the diversity where we are and prefer to stay in the suburbs.  We don’t want to move, nor, should we have to.  In addition, individuals have purposely stalked gay villages to find easy targets for their hate crimes.

Someday, those who are LGBT may be able to live without fear showing public displays of affection.  I doubt we’ll see it in my lifetime.  On the other hand, I didn’t believe we’d see marriage equality in my lifetime, and look at what’s happening throughout the U.S. and the world, so maybe I’m wrong.  I hope I am.



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