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Dallas Paramedic Refuses To Help Gay Man Over Fear Of Catching AIDS



A Dallas paramedic allegedly refused to treat a gay man at BJ’s NXS Male Entertainment Complex this week after the man was hit in the head with a glass by another patron for fear of catching AIDS.


Zachary Taylor McGinnis said he was at the gay bar on Fitzhugh Avenue on Tuesday evening, July 29. He said he was speaking to a woman who was apparently with a man standing on her other side when the man suddenly hit him in the head with a glass, grabbed the woman and stormed out.

McGinnis said he and a friend followed the couple outside and were there when Dallas Fire and Rescue personnel arrived. Paramedics in Dallas Fire Department Truck 8 responded to the 911 call.

“The [paramedic] gets out, walks around the truck, saw my bleeding head, saw the other patrons outside and said, ‘I’m not treating him,’” McGinnis said.

McGinnis’ friend said, “Excuse me?” And the paramedic repeated, “I’m not treating him.”

“Why?” McGinnis asked.

“You have blood on you,” the paramedic said.

“Aren’t you a paramedic?” McGinnis’ friend asked.

“You need to step back,” the paramedic said.

Police also responded to the scene, apparently in response to a call for assistance by the paramedic.

When police and paramedics left, McGinnis said he tried to go back into BJ’s to close his bar tab. Management wouldn’t allow him back in and, he said, he still hasn’t retrieved his credit card.

McGinnis contacted  Dallas police LGBT liaison Laura Martin, who directed him to fire department liaison Sherry Durant. Martin said she spoke to Durant, who said she will guide McGinnis through the complaint process. But as of Friday noon, Durant has not returned repeated follow-up calls from Zachary McGinnis.

Disgusting.  That 30 years later and the stigma still  continues.


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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5 thoughts on “Dallas Paramedic Refuses To Help Gay Man Over Fear Of Catching AIDS”

  1. That paramedic either needs to learn how to do his job. Or he needs to be made a civilian. How dumb can one person be?

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