Tag Archives: Key West

Gay History - February 1: Tom of Finland, Robert Opel and Tennessee Williams Terrorized in Key West

Gay History – February 1: Tom of Finland, Robert Opel and Tennessee Williams Terrorized in Key West

February 1st.

1978: Tom of Finland has his first U.S. exhibit at Robert Opel’s Fey Way Gallery in San Francisco.

Robert Opel was not only famous for being the man who streaked the 1974 Academy Awards. He also opened the first erotic art gallery in San Francisco called Fey-Way Studios (1978- 1979)

While Tom of Finland’s work went on to become famous worldwide. Tragically things did not turn out the same way for Robert Opel.

On the night of July 7, 1979, a crazed gunman by the name of Maurice Keenan killed Robert Opel in his own gallery shortly after putting on a stage performance entitled The Mock-Execution of Dan White (Harvey Milk’s murderer).

Keenan made off with $5 dollars and a camera.


1979: A gang of teenage boys stands outside Tennessee Williams’s home in Key West, Florida, and begins throwing beer cans and firecrackers at the house while chanting “Come on out, faggot!” The incident is just the latest in a string of bizarre homophobic attacks aimed at the openly gay playwright.

Via The Washington Post:

Tennessee Williams’ life now on Key West in a way resembles the plot of one of his plays: an injured innocent in a honky-tonk town pitted against uprovoked malice, deliberate cruelty. Since January, his gardener has been murdered, his house ransacked twice. He has been mugged twice on the street, once reported, once not. His dog has disappeared. One winter evening some kids stood outside his house and threw beer cans on the porch, yelling at America’s greatest playwright, “Come on out, faggot.” The only person home at the time was a house-guest, writer Dotson Rader, and when the kids set off some fire-crackers, Rader remembers thinging: “This is it. They’ve resorted to guns.”

Yet Williams has reacted with the resiliency of one of his heroines, dismissing it all as “ridiculous.” He uses the same cliche to explain it away as does the Key West Police Department: “There is voilence everywhere.” What has happened is enough to “shatter faith in essential human goodness,” as Williams himself once put it, but he has insisted on a brave front, as if through “enduring the devil, he will earn, if nothing else, its respect.”

Homophobe Arrested At Key Gay West Bar For Drunken Violent Outburst

Homophobe Arrested At Key West Gay Bar For Drunken Violent Outburst

Early Monday morning, 26-year-old Shane McCrea (pictured above) was drinking at the Key West gay bar the Bourbon Street Pub on Duval Street when suddenly calling patrons “faggots” and saying they are “burning in hell,” according to an affidavit filed by Key West police.

The bouncer Milan Culum removed McCrea from the bar but a few minuted later he returned  struck Culum twice in the stomach and kicked a patron, calling him a “fucking faggot,” police said.

When police arrived, just after 1 a.m. McCrea began yelling obscenities at them and would not comply with their orders. He was handcuffed at Taser point, then pepper sprayed and finally put in leg restraints — this after he banged his head against the patrol car hood and tried kicking officers, police said.

On the way to jail, McCrea told officers he was a combat veteran with “high-ranking” friends and he would seek revenge, according to the affidavit written by officer Jesse Young.

“I will kill all you cops!” McCrea shouted after he arrived at the county jail on Stock Island, the affidavit states.

McCrea was arrested on four counts of felony battery resisting arrest on law enforcement officers, five felony counts of threats against a public servant or their family, one felony count enhancement for a hate crime and one felony count of resisting an officer with violence.

He was also arrested on four misdemeanor charges for brawling in public, battery, criminal property damage and disorderly conduct.

McCrea is currently being on $46,000 bond.

Key West prides itself on being one of the most gay-friendly city in the United States.


WATCH: Trump's Motorcade Greeted by Shouts of "Fuck You!" in Key West, Florida

WATCH: Trump’s Motorcade Greeted by “Boo’s” and Shouts of “Fuck You!” in Key West, Florida

Meanwhile in Trump’s limo he kept asking the Secret Service: “Who is Hugh?”


Court Throws Out Not Guilty Verdict in Police Misconduct Case Against Gay Man Because Jury Not Vetted for Homophobia


A federal appellate court has tossed out a jury verdict that cleared Key West police of misconduct in a case that dates back to October 2013 during Fantasy Fest.

A new trial was ordered in the case of Raymond Berthiaume vs. the now-retired Lt. David Smith of the Key West Police Department and the city of Key West. Berhiaume alleges Smith tried to frame him in a battery case.

Berthiaume,  said that Officer Smith knocked him to the ground after he had smacked a Key West street sign in frustration during an argument among his friends about going home. Berthiaume’s ex-partner wanted to stay out and swiped the group’s car keys.

Smith booked Berthiaume on a domestic-battery but he was never charged.

In January 2015, Berthiaume sued Smith and the city demanding at least $15,000 in damages. The lawsuit accused Smith of trying to frame Berthiaume for a battery by forcing one of his friends to lie about what happened.

But after a three-day trial in May 2016 at U.S. District Court in Key West before Judge James Lawrence King, a jury ruled Smith didn’t violate any of Berthiaume’s rights Oct. 27, 2013, nor did he make a false arrest.

Berthiaume required surgeries to repair injuries to his jaw and left wrist caused when Smith knocked him to the ground that night.

“Berthiaume noted that homosexuals had only recently begun to gain acceptance in society, and many people still harbor bias or prejudice against homosexuals,” according to the ruling. “Accordingly, Berthiaume contended that in a case such as his, involving both a gay party and gay witnesses, it is necessary for courts to inquire into prospective jurors’ potential biases against homosexuals to ensure a fair trial.”

The federal appellate court ruled that Berthiaume might have indeed been discriminated against by jurors who weren’t asked whether they harbor bias against gays.

“The district court here asked the jurors multiple questions about any biases or prejudices they might have against law enforcement,” reads the decision by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal released Nov. 22. “But the district court refused to ask any questions at all about prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Office Smith retired in 2015 after 25 years with the Key West Police Department.

Gay Bar Owner In Key West Takes Care Of Hundreds of Residents After Hurricane Irma

After 25 years in Key West, Jim Gilleran knows residents need a cold beer, a hot meal and a place to reconnect after a hurricane. While most bars and restaurants remain shuttered on Duval Street, Gilleran opened his 801 Bar hours after Hurricane Irma smashed past the island. He’s kept his generator operating since, serving nearly 700-800 free meals a day.

On Thursday, the bar stools were packed with sweaty, unshowered, hungry residents anticipating a steak lunch while staff gave out bags of donated food and toiletries. “Honey, you need anything?” asked a worker carrying a basket of facial wipes, toothpaste and tampons.

aid on the day civilization slowly crept back into Key West, or at least as much as this idiosyncratic city at the very southern tip of the U.S. will allow. –  The Palm Beach Post

Take that Joel (Fucking Grifter) Osteen and so called loving Christians who have done nothing.

I love my people.

WATCH: LIVE Webcams Key West – Southern Most Beach Resort Beach & Pier and Two Friends Roof Top Key West

Hurricane Irma is expected to strengthen again before it fully hits South Florida on Saturday. Key West and the lower keys are going to take a direct hit, according to the latest forecast.

Key West’s offbeat picturesque charm and open, genuinely welcoming atmosphere has always been popular haven among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community .  About 30 percent of Key West’s current 25,750 residents self-identify as being part of the LGBT community

Playwright Tennessee Williams is credited with first attracting national attention to Key West’s accepting appeal in the 1940s. Since then, the town’s LGBT community has lived openly and comfortably, freely welcoming visitors to its fun-filled, sun-drenched society.

Other gay and lesbian notables — Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Leonard Bernstein and Elizabeth Bishop, for example — also enjoyed leisure time in Key West, shaping its growing literary and artistic culture.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people and creatures of Key West and South Florida affected by this storm.

They will be operable until the power goes out.