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Aug 14 06: 'where I come from we kill you'

Joel had an encounter on the subway the other day: a couple of West Indians who decided that they could play Menace the Faggot with impunity. He stood up to them, in a way that (a) displayed his trademark wit and (b) was, even in his own words, “unwise.” I suspect he came pretty close to getting himself killed, or seriously messed up at the very least.

I have not yet met Joel. Right now, I want to smack him upside the head for taking such a risk, and then shake his hand and buy him a beer. And I’m ashamed of that first reaction, because it is by not standing up to such ill-treatment by strangers that we teach them that faggots will just meekly accept whatever bullshit they care to dish out. Joel is my hero; I’m just glad that my announcement of this is linked to his blog, rather than his obituary.

You sort of forget that this happens here in cosmopolitan New York. But as one of Joel’s readers points out, “New York is an incredibly diverse place, and that diversity includes assholes who hate gay people.” I’ll try to keep that in mind.


The stupidity wasn’t in standing up to them; the stupidity was in provoking them in the first place. I could have stopped at “I’m just shocked that you said it” and left it at that. My subsequent actions practically invited the screwdriver.

posted by Faustus, M.D., Aug 14 06 9:36 AM

Is there consolation, I ask you, that at the end of the day the two gentlemen on the train will still be stewing in the frustrated ignorance and bigotry they pass for culture; whereas Joel gets to move beyond his fear and continue his fabulous life?

posted by pablo, Aug 20 06 11:42 PM

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