June 4, 2018 By Tara Law
A homophobic assault on a 25-year-old man took place in Jackson Heights Sunday evening, just hours after the Queens Pride Parade and Festival, which advocates for LGBTQ rights, took place.
Hours before the attack, community groups, entertainers, local politicians and members of the public had marched along 37th Avenue from 89th to 75th Street in celebration of openness, diversity and self-expression.
Grand marshals Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Elijah Betts, a participant in Queens Community House’s youth group Generation Q, led the parade this year. The festivities, which concluded around 6 p.m., are held annually by the Queens Pride committee.
The post-parade revelry took a dark turn at around 9:55 p.m., however, when two men approached the 25-year-old victim at 83-01 37 Ave.— which stands along the parade route.
The attackers made “anti-sexual orientation statements” to the victim and punched him repeatedly in the face, police said. The pair fled the scene and the victim was left bruised and bloodied.
The police describe the two men as black and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. Neither has been arrested, although the Hate Crime Task Force is currently investigating the incident.
The parade itself began in 1993 after a homophobic attack on Julio Rivera, who was murdered in the schoolyard of P.S. 69. The parade route passes by the school and the corner of 37th Avenue and 78th Street, which is named “Julio Rivera Corner.”
Jose Peralta, who attended the parade, issued a statement condemning the attack and calling it “intolerable.”
“I am outraged that attacks against people because of their sexual orientation or gender expression continue to occur,” Peralta said. “There is no room for hate in our community, especially in one as diverse as Jackson Heights.”
Disgraceful. People being beaten for being who they are. Xenophobic comments running rampant. Direct the outrage at the scum who beat the victim.
Summer of 2013 : Mark Carson is killed on a Greenwich Village street by Eliott Morales, in a summer of fourteen homophobic attacks (some fatal) by Hispanic men in NYC. Enough of a pattern where there’s some speculation that beating gay men is now a gang initiation. But did anybody blame President Obama for those attacks ? (If anyone, it was Rev. Ruben Diaz who was to blame…but no one had the guts to go there).
It wasn’t Charlottesville whites who gaybashed this man, it was Queens, NYC, African-Americans. Deal with the truth, not p.c. fantasies.
MJJ- How do you know these guys are from Queens? Much of the crime committed in Queens is done by people from outside the borough just like the three guys caught burglarizing Bar43 and the Lowery in Sunnyside.
Then they’re from …..Crown Heights.
I’m a JH resident. Looking at the feature photo, I’ve never seen that many white gay dudes (well, could be Latino, though) in my neighborhood. I am not saying there’s no white dudes in this area. But the sentiment is like this: I ran into a couple of acquaintances during the parade. I know them because they used to live in JH. Before I even asked them, they said “We’re visiting here for the parade.” They seem to be shameful to be a part of JH.
I hopefully think the photo is a coincidental choice. But it surly leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Unless this is just one of those new blogs, before you promote the white ppl agenda which I am already sick of, please know minority gay communities do exist and JH is one of those places where white ppl decide to ditch.
Grandpa- Jackson Heights is being brought back to its original upscale grace and charm. The charm that was denigrated by low class bigots like you. As a fourth generation Jackson Heights resident who happens to be white and gay, I say welcome gentrifiers and goodbye to low class bigots like you and your offensive racist post.
Stop keeping you head in the sand. Homophobic attacks are UP the entire. Eboldended by the their KING HOMOPHOBE AND HATER. Point of FACT JOSE PERALTA’S SUPPORTERS ARE HOMOPHOBES… the reason why we can’t get him out of politics is because he give lollipops to homophobes for votes.
This is terrible. 83rd and 37th ave is a hot spot for crime lately.
As a gay man, I walk the streets of JH in constant ‘alert’ mode. Since 2016, I have been called a “faggot” twice: once on the street for no apparent reason and once in a store when the person behind me was upset because I had asked for a cashier for a price check on a purchase. I dress the same, walk the same and speak the same as I have always done. The turning point seems to have been when the Presidential election cycle began. Homophobes seem to have a sense of empowerment since the election of the homophobic POTUS.
Yeah, sure Howard. Like African-American homophobia (in this latest attack) has anything to do with Trump. Stop your wishful thinking.
I’m guessing that you are someone who questions ‘white privilege’ as well. Your blindness is very enlightening.
What does “white privilege” have to do with black homophobes attacking a gay man ? And what does it have to do with the President ?? The President can’t control every assault in the country. You might as well blame President Obama for the Pulse massacre.
Frankly I feel that your use of “black homophobes” pretty much validates my point. Does tRump have a ‘direct’ impact? No. Does his racism and his statements that support white nationalism (think about his comments following the events in Charlottesville) have something to do with the negative attitude that is directed to minority groups have something to do with the increase of homophobia/racist attacks, I must say “yes.” In 30 years of living in JH I have never had a problem with my sexual orientation in public until the beginning of this election cycle. When tRump announced he was a candidate he slandered all of the Mexican community in the announcement. If you think this has not resulted in an situation that emboldens the alt-right with violence directed to the minority communities you are just not paying attention or it simply has not impacted your personal life. Again, if you do not belong to a minority group and you insist upon remaining blind to what tRump is doing to this nation, you are just another unthinking individual who refuses to acknowledge the damage this man is doing to our nation.
Howard- I’m no fan of Trump, hes a criminal plain and simple but you’re ridiculous. In 30 years of living here, you never had a problem because of your sexual orientation..You’re one of the lucky few.Where were you in 1990 when Julio Rivera was murdered? You spew much of the same rhetoric of Bill DeBlasio. The mayor feels minorities well except for Asians, lack the ability to compete and need rules and standards relaxed because they just can’t meet the grade.