Last night, August 9th, I suffered some nasty encounters with homophobic denizens hanging out at the benches by Harvey Milk Plaza. Earlier that day I came home to hear a veiled threat on my answering machine, which went like this:
“The Castro Kids have their eyes on you!”
The voice was gravelly, like an old man who smokes too many cigarettes. Only a week earlier, that same voice left the following message:
“We have you exactly where we want. Ha ha!”
The background noise of traffic in both instances, indicated that this culprit came to the front gate, pressed the buzzer for my unit, and recited his hostile messages.
My attempt to get at the bottom of this, only resulted in ugly and slanderous accusations towards yours truly. By three street folks I considered my friends, and to whom I’ve always been friendly. Instead, I was ganged up upon. As follows:
In the early evening, I tried to inform Eric that I was being harassed by hateful voice mail. (Eric is a handsome, straight dude always with a guitar at hand.) He suddenly blurted: Zeke, I’m really bummed out right now. I have my own problems; I don’t want to hear yours!” To which I responded:
“I don’t have any problems, Eric. I just want to find out where this hatred is coming from. You certainly don’t need to jump on me about this.” Then he retorted, as he stood up halfway:
“I’ll just move to another bench, if you insist on sitting here.” So I said:
“Don’t bother, I’ll go now.”
Later that night (around 10:30pm) I returned to the benches, in hopes of resolving this issue. Asked Eric if I can speak to him now, or is he still on the rag. So he listened to my description of the phone messages, and my questions about the person who beat up on Rom.
Felicia, who often brings food for the homeless who hang out at the benches, and was seated beside Eric, told me I just knocked over someone’s cup of beer (with my foot which, honestly, I did not feel, and which could have easily been kicked over by Eric or even Felicia: so long as the cops couldn’t identify the origin of the booze-law offender), and that I should shut up and buy him a new drink. And that I should go fuk myself. She then flipped me the bird, which I returned in kind, and stated:
“I’ve always been nice to you, Felicia. Why are you being so hostile to me now?” And the byatch responded:
“Get the fuk outta here, we’re trying to kick back and play some music.” To which I replied:
“No way, lady. I’ve lived in this neighborhood years before you and your shitty kind showed up.”
Matt, who plays keyboard (and whom I featured in my blog on the street musicians at Harvey Milk Plaza) accused me of being a pervert, picking up on homeless guys who hang here.
I told him I’ve always been friendly to him, but that’s evil gossip, and asked who’s been spreading such foul lies against me. He only replied:
“That’s what I’ve heard. I’m only telling you what people are saying about you.” So I retorted:
“I don’t have sex with anyone I’ve invited over. You have no right to slander me in my own turf. You owe me a profuse apology. Then he pointed at the police officer who was talking to some other street folks about 8 yards away from us. And threatened:
“Want me to call her over, and tell her you’re harassing me?” To which I remarked:
“Oh, that would be hilarious. She’s on my side. You just go ahead and do that!” Matt backed off. I then let him have it with double barrels:
“You’re spreading gossip against me, without one shred of evidence. Who’s behind this? Is it Peace?” It had occurred to me that Peace, who suddenly stopped talking to me the day after I gave him $20 in support of his supposed protection of the gay homeless youth trying to get some sleep on the sidewalk by Holy Redeemer Church, may have turned against me, and started broadcasting animosity against me.
(Peace is someone I’ve had over numerous times without any hint of sexual invite. We discussed the street scene here in the Castro, smoked cigarettes and sometimes pot, and I let him take a shower down the hallway. A totally respectful association.)
Then some drunken sot with a can of malt liquer in his hand shoved me and told me to “get the fuk outta here”. I shoved him back and told him to mind his own business; he has no idea what’s going on. By that time, the peace officer had disappeared. Too bad, because I was about to call her over. At that point, other creeps (all homeless) ganged up on me, calling me “pervert” and worse.
During this altercation, Daniel (a twin of his brother, Jacob…both of whom showed up in the Castro several months ago), told me to “get the fuk outta here”. This, after inviting him over a week ago, to give him a fresh T-shirt and chat with him about his brother, with whom he was very concerned due to his return to hard drugs. I gave him hope for his brother, told him to hang in there and have faith in God’s good works. I never once propositioned him for sex, or made any move towards him, of that kind.
I finally walked away, strolled around the ‘hood, and finally showed up at the benches once more. Walked by Felicia, Eric and Matt who were seated on the same bench…and pointed at each of them as I strolled by:
“Each of you owes me a profuse apology. What you’ve done is wicked and a total lie!” To which Felicia proclaimed:
“Get the hell outta here, Zeke.”
I then walked up the brick pathway to come around along the sidewalk above the benches, where I looked down upon the idiots and declared:
“Felicia, you’ve got a foul mouth. Eric, you have a foul mouth. Matt, you have a foul mouth.” And added before I disappeared: “These benches will come down pronto, thanks to your homophobic slander!”
Not completely satisfied yet with addressing this slander against yours truly, I came around once more, to the benches, where I sat at the furthermost bench beside the intersection. Daniel was at the next bench, kicking the garbage dumped alongside the concrete wall that served as back support. God forbid he should acutally clean up this mess, I thought. Then cried out to him:
“Daniel, you’re a no-good piece of shit. I invited you over, gave you a fresh T-shirt, and hope for your brother. I didn’t once lay a hand on you. Now, you gang up on me with the other goons, and say nothing in my defense!” To which he hollered:
“Go fuk yourself. You’re a crazy muthah fukkah. I’m not listening to you any more!” And I retorted:
“You’re a liar and no good. You get the hell outta here. The benches will soon be shut down thanks to skanky goofballs like yourself!”
So then I departed, pissed off and truly hurt by this wicked outcome of my efforts to reach out to the homeless at HM Plaza. On my way home (barely a block-and-a-half away), I bump into my new friend, Zach, who is wheeling his usual shopping cart and diving into the garbage bins for recyclable bottles and cans. So I tell him what just happened, and he replies:
“You’ve heard the song Backstabbers, haven’t you? They smile in your face…“
I stop him in mid-song: “Yes, Zach, you are so right. It’s good to have some friends like you in this world.”
But Zach isn’t my only friend in this debacle. In my last round at the benches, another Matt called to me and said:
“Hey, Zeke, why don’t you stop and say hello to your friend?”
I paused to apologize, and tell him I’m wrapped up in a confrontation by some folks who I thought were friends. And that I think Peace is behind spreading this gossip.
“Oh, Peace. He’s a little twit of a muthah fukkah.”
“Yes, I’m afraid you are right, Matt. I thought he was protecting the homeless youth sleeping by the Holy Redeemer.”
“No, he isn’t,” he replied with a scowl on his handsome mug. “He’s a big fat liar. Peace does nothing that isn’t for his own selfish goals.”
“Well, I was certainly wrong about Peace,” I remark. “Again, my apologies for almost walking by you without any acknowledgment. I was caught up in defending my reputation.”
So there you have it, Kind Reader: my conclusion that these benches at Harvey Milk Plaza should be shut down for at least several months, in order to drive out these anti-gay schmucks who think they’re the cat’s meow for taking over this particular portion of gay turf. But if these benches remain, I have another possible solution:
Flood the benches with gays and their allies, that these homophobes don’t have a single spot in which to seat themselves. Drive them away because they are outnumbered.
Tomorrow’s another day, and I will surely continue to confront the bastards, in spite of their wishes to be left alone to perpetrate their hetero-supremacist righteousness.
So good night to you, all Good Souls, who truly care about my houseless gay brothers and sisters, who dwell in utter terror from the homophobic majority that dwell upon these mean streets of so-called “Gay Mecca”. I wish I could do more.
I really do. <3
Then again, they may be just pressing my buttons, because it is so much fun to see how I deal with it. Well, tomorrow is another day.
“We have no enemies, only teachers.” -Buddha