Rashawn & Beyond: Anti-Violence News for Queer People of Color

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund aims to establish a sustainable tribute to Rashawn that promotes critical thought about the impact of violence and intolerance, particularly upon queer communities of African descent.

Through this blog, we provide action alerts, event postings and breaking news as a means of informing these communities in ways that enable them to combat racism and homophobia.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Drag queen beaten in E. Village horror

Kevin Aviance (after attack and in drag, below) was mugged leaving East Village club yesterday.
An internationally known drag queen and recording artist was robbed and beaten by four trash-talking bullies who shouted anti-gay slurs at him in the East Village early yesterday.

"We're going to kill you, f----t!" at least one of them screamed as they followed 38-year-old Kevin Aviance down the street. "We're going to get you, f----t!"

Four suspects were arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime, cops said.
"I thought they were going to kill me," said Aviance, who suffered a broken jaw and bruises. "I was thinking 'Is this the way I'm going to die?'"

The brutal incident unfolded after Aviance, whose real name is Eric Sneed, left Phoenix, a gay club on E. 13th St. where he had met friends for drinks after posing for Homo Xtra magazine.

The 6-foot-3 diva, who often performs in elaborate gowns, was wearing what his publicist described as "boy clothes" - shorts, a black T-shirt with a hood, and a hat at the time.
In his bag, he was carrying pumps, women's clothing and makeup from his magazine shoot.

"I've been doing this for 15 years and I've never been harassed," Aviance said. "If anything people approach me with warmth."
As Aviance desperately tried to hail a cab a few blocks up First Ave. about 1:30 a.m., the attackers tossed debris at him, Aviance said. One thug punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground, he said.
The gang dragged him to the sidewalk and started kicking him, he said. "They were not human," he said.
"You can see the extent of the violence and hate," an investigator said. Aviance added that there were several witnesses to the beating who didn't help him. "They were just cold."
Someone did escort him to nearby Beth Israel Medical Center, where he had his jaw wired shut last evening. He was listed in stable condition.
The muggers snatched his cell phone and wallet.
Arrested last night were Gerard Johnson, 16, and Gregory Archie, 18, both of Manhattan; Akino George, 20, of the Bronx; and Jarrell Sears, 20, of Newark, N.J. A police source that a witness led cops to Johnson, who fingered at least one of the other suspects.
Aviance has been a mainstay of New York's underground club scene and has performed his dance hits all over the world. The bald gender-bender hit No. 1 on Billboard's dance music charts in 1997 with "Din Da Da" and topped the charts again in 2002 with "Alive." He has appeared on television's "America's Next Top Model" and in a music video for Madonna's "Secret."

He was supposed to host the closing party for Gay Pride Week, which begins June 18, but that won't happen this year because of his injuries, according to his publicist, Len Evans. Originally published on June 11, 2006


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