Joe.My.God has posted a follow-up to the brutal attack on Kevin Aviance last June. I posted about the attack after it happened here. All four of the boys involved pled guilty and were given sentences ranging from six to fifteen years. A little justice is always a nice cherry to put on top of a shit sundae, but it doesn't make the pain and suffering that was caused go away.
I still disagree with Joe (and most gay people) about the usefulness of hate crimes legislation (which should properly be called "thought crimes legislation"), which is not to say I don't think these boys deserve to be in jail, just that I don't see why they should get any more or less jail time than anyone else who commits such a heinous crime.
I thought I'd post the article and interview that we did at noiZe with Kevin right after it happened as a tribute to this suitable ending. This was truly one of the most entertaining and uplifting interviews I have ever done:
A giant preening mascot for the club-going set, Kevin Aviance is constantly coming up with a new way to wear a giant hat, some glitter and little else. The lips, the face, his long massive legs, and that voice. Booming with a low end that rivals the bass box on the floor next to you, he has pitch-perfect timing and always says just enough but never too much to inspire you to keep dancing the night away. I only saw him attempt to share the stage once for a duet; he performed the male vocal himself with a sock puppet. No one else could have done it justice.
June 9th started like any other Friday for Kevin. A photo shoot in the East Village, followed by cocktails at a local bar, finally ending up at Phoenix on 13th Street and First Avenue for a nightcap.
Phoenix is one of those bars that reminds you that gay people like to relax and play pool sometimes just like everyone else. Very laid back atmosphere, and not as seedy as you would expect at first glance. Lots of beer drinkers. The most exciting thing that happens there is a periodic visit from Janice Dickinson, who will probably have go-go boys at her funeral.
Kevin was relaxing that night as well, going casual after the shoot wearing a black muscle shirt with a hoodie, black pants down to his calf, and a Balenciaga bag on his shoulder. He was still Kevin Aviance, who can wear little more than a thong and some pumps and look fully dressed somehow, but he was in a decidedly less glamorous mold that evening from all accounts.
He left the bar early, probably 1:30am, to make the walk to his apartment near Seventh Avenue. Approaching 14th Street, Kevin thought nothing of it when he passed a small group of young men. 14th Street is one of lower Manhattan’s most bustling thoroughfares, even at two in the morning. Like much of that area of the city, it feels dirtier and more dangerous than it usually is in reality. Even the junkies seem to respect the basic code of civility that every New Yorker learns to exercise. That corner, near the Phoenix, now houses three or four gay bars alone in a two block radius. It’s probably safe to assume, therefore, that Kevin felt comfortable in full “Strut” mode, and was paying these children no mind.