Tag Archives: New York City

Gay History - November 19, 1980: The NYC Ramrod Shooting.

Gay History – November 19, 1980: The NYC Ramrod Shooting. 2 Killed, 6 Injured In Hate Crime Shooting Spree

On the night of November 19, 1980 Ronald Crumpley, 38,  a former Transit Authority policeman and son of a minister, spent the evening cruising the streets of New York’s Greenwich Village in his father’s stolen blue Cadillac. He fired three shots from an automatic handgun at Sim’s Deli shortly before 11:00 p.m., wounding at least three people and shattering the front plate glass window. Minutes later, he drove to Christopher Street and stopped in front of two gay bars, Sneakers and Ramrod, which were next door to each other on the West Side Highway (West Street).

According to witnesses Crunpley waited about two or three minutes in front of the bars then drove around the block, returned, stepped out of the car calmly, walked up to the curb and shot a man standing on the curb waiting for a cab. The man fell to the ground, then he shot another guy who ran around the corner. He then started spraying both bars through the plate-glass windows with an Uzi machine gun. Then he got back into the car and drove off.” 

After Crumpley drove off, he stopped again at 10th Street and Greenwich Avenue not far from The Ninth Circle and fired eight more shots at another group of men. This time his shots missed, and as police cars approached he sped away. As many as 15 police cruisers chased Crumpley to Broadway and West 10th Street, where Crumpley abandoned the Cadillac. Officers found him trying to pull himself up underneath a parked van’s undercarriage.

All told Vernon Koenig, an organist at Greenwich Village’s St. Joseph’s church, died on the operating table at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Jorg Wenz, Ramrod’s 21-year-old doorman, died soon after surgery. Rene Malute, 23, was in intensive care, and five others were admitted in stable condition.

Thousands visited the site of the Ramrod attack in the following nights leaving flowers and remembrances. But the attack itself was barely mentioned in the news media.

Crumpley was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, and possession of illegal weapons. Police found four weapons: a .357 Magnu, a .45 caliber automatic pistol, a 9mm automatic pistol, and an Uzi. Crumpley told police that he attacked the bars and the deli because he hated homosexuals. “I want to kill them all,” he said. “They’re no good. They ruin everything.”

During Crumpley’s trail, the prosecution presented 35 witnesses, and the defense five. At issue was Crumpley’s mental state at the time of the shooting. Crumpley’s psychiatrist testified that Creumpley suffered from paranoia. Crumpley himself took the stand and said gay people were “agents of the devil” who were following him continuously. The jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity. He was committed to Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center on Wards Island.

In 2001, Crumpley’s lawyers petitioned the Manhattan Supreme Court to review the state of his mental illness and pleaded for his release or transfer to a less secure institution.

He was the model of normalcy under questioning from his own lawyer. But under grilling by prosecutor Patricia Bailey, Crumpley described a lingering resentment over numerous men whom he “knew” were gay and who were “attracted to me”.

Crumpley adopted a soprano voice to imitate a man he thought was following him on Eighth Avenue and said gays sometimes “put themselves in a situation where they know they’re taking chances.”

The judge turned down both his requests.

Crumpley died in a psychiatric hospital in 2015. Though the attack on the Ramrod is not well remembered outside of Greenwich Village, residents have never forgotten the event. Coming as it did shortly after the election of Ronald Reagan and a Republican takeover of the US Senate, the attack felt like an ominous harbinger of things to come. Eight months later the New York Times would report on the strange, “rare cancer” afflicting homosexual men.

The Ramrod closed permanently following the attack.


Remembering the Ramrod Massacre - Village Preservation

Ramrod – NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

West Street '79 [includes Badlands, RamRod] - Leonard Fink — Google Arts &  Culture

Ramrod – NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

Gay History – September 15, 1969: “Gay Power” New York City’s First “Homosexual” Newspaper Published

 

On September 15, 1969: Gay Power, “New York’s First Homosexual Newspaper” and the first publication to emerge from the post-Stonewall movement, publishes its premiere issue.

Although the ADVOCATE began publishing 2 years earlier at that time the publication had a West Coast take on the gay life style and was not readily available on the East Coast.

Gay Power, was a biweekly newspaper, edited by John Heys.  and covered the culture and politics of the New York gay scene through a very personal vision. Each issue featured psychedelic covers and centerfolds and one of its covers was created by Robert Mapplethorpe. The newspaper also contained illustrations by Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, as well as regular contributors as Arthur Bell, Taylor Mead, Charles Ludlam, Pudgy Roberts, Bill Vehr, Pat Maxwell,Clayton Cole and regular columns from all of the active gay activists groups, from the most conservative Mattachine Society to the most radical The Gay Liberation Front, and all the other groups in between. 

John Heys would later go on to become an important star on the downtown scene as a drag queen, performance artist, and visual artist.

 

Image result for gay power nyc gay newspaper

Paul McCartney Marches In Memory of John Lennon at March for Our Lives New York - Video

Paul McCartney Marches In Memory of John Lennon at March for Our Lives New York – Video

Musical legend Paul McCartney stood with hundreds of thousand fellow other marches across the country today who are taking a stand against gun violence and the NRA

The former Beatle told CNN Saturday that he is participating in the New York March for Our Lives rally to honor his late, former bandmate John Lennon.

“One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here,” McCartney told the news station. “So it’s important to me.”

McCartney, 75, also said he wanted to support the people at the march, which aims to end gun violence by advocating for gun control.

“I don’t know if we can end gun violence,” he said. “But this is what we can do, so I’m here to do it.”

New Yorkers Chant “Lock him up!” As Donald Trump’s Motorcade Passes Through Manhattan – VIDEO

Via The Hill:

President Trump’s motorcade was greeted in New York City on Saturday by a large group of protestors chanting “lock him up” and “traitor.” Video posted to Twitter shows the crowd of protesters as Trump’s motorcade passes by in Manhattan.

The protestors also chanted “hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go” and booed Trump’s motorcade as it drove past. Trump is in New York City for a series of fundraising events. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway are also with Trump, according to pool reports.

 

 

 

NYC Police Dept. Apologizes for 1969 Raid at the Stonewall Inn - [VIDEO]

Stage Reading of Stonewall Musical Set for October 16 and 17 in NYC

 

Via Playbill:

A new musical about the events leading up to the 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn, and the resulting acts of civil resistance that helped launch the modern gay rights movement, will get readings October 16 and 17 at Ripley-Grier Studios in New York City, starring Claybourne ElderAnnie Golden, and Kevin Smith Kirkwood.

Aaron Simon Gross and Rev Yolanda will also be featured in Stonewall: A Rhapsody on Resistance, which has book, music, and lyrics by Dave Bates.

The musical centers on the character of Mark, described as “a newcomer fresh off the bus from Kansas. The regulars at Stonewall might as well be from another planet. But when this ragtag group of hustlers, lovers, and drag queens welcomes him with open arms, Mark discovers a home worth fighting for.”

Golden is the veteran of seven Broadway productions, including The Full Monty and Violet. She plays Norma Romano on the TV series Orange Is the New Black.

 Performances are scheduled for 2 and 6:30 PM October 16, and noon on October 17

Reservations for the readings are being accepted via email at STONEWALL@theatrical.ag or by calling (347) 875-7782.

One of the First Public AIDS Memorials Located On Christopher Street in NYC May Be Lost Forever

Situated on Christopher Street in New York City St. Veronica’s Church  which was founded in 1890  and sat directly in the middle of Ground Zero during the AIDS Crisis.   But unlike many other institutions with ties to the Roman Catholic Church which had shut out most of the AIDS victims, St. Veronica’s and nearby St. Vincent’s Hospital did all they could to help and lend comfort to the plagues victim’, their friends and family.

In 1985 the church rectory was given to some of Mother Teresa’s nuns, who opened one of the city’s early AIDS hospice centers.  A few years later, in 1991, the church installed the memorial, a series of plaques with the names of men who died from the disease drilled into the choir loft. A small table with fresh flowers and a lone candle completed the memorial.

For many, this out-of-the-way memorial, somewhat hidden up in a choir loft, was one of the few places where they could grieve the deaths of loved ones. Ms. Cook said she often witnessed individuals climbing the rickety wooden steps leading up to the memorial.

“It was the saddest thing you’ve ever seen. You just wanted to cry,” she said.

The Rev. Kenneth Smith, the pastor of the church beginning in 1990, said he reached out to leaders from the gay community to see how the church might help.

Monsignor Smith said people dying from AIDS often had no one to pray with them, a role he tried to fill for several years during the height of the crisis.

“It was like to ministering to anyone else who’s dying from a disease. If you were a priest, you’d understand what I mean,” he said. “They’d go to a hospital. I visited them in the hospital. I administered the sacraments. I’d be with them when they died. I would celebrate their funerals.”

But some in St. Veronica’s congregation were not as kind.  “It was difficult. Extremely difficult,” Monsignor Smith said. “There were many people who didn’t think the church should be involved with people who were suffering from AIDS or involved in the burial of people who died with AIDS.”

But still St. Veronica’s remained steadfast in support of not only the victims of the dreaded disease but also the LGBT community as a whole opening its halls to support groups and Gay AA and NA meetings.

After the  attendance of parishioners began to dwindle the  church itself was downgraded from a parish a decade ago and is now in danger of being sold off by the Catholic church and has put the AIDS memorial in danger. The future of the building is unknown but despite the fact that it was  granted landmark status cannot be torn down or significantly altered the memorial itself would be taken from Christopher Street and put in storage  for “possible”  future use in other churches.”

Or it might be lost forever, like the lives it represents.

No matter what religion you are or what you believe, PLEASE take a moment to write or call Cardinal Timothy Dolan and demand that St. Veronica’s and it’s AIDS Memorial be saved.

Archdioceses of New York
1011 First Ave
New York, NY 10022

Attn: His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Re: SAVE ST VERONICA’S

Cardinal Timothy Dolan – Phone: 212-371-1000

Giant Wooden Cross Chained To Gay Street In NYC As Intolerance Message Is Turned Into Something Beautiful.

Giant Wooden Cross Chained To Gay Street In NYC As Intolerant Message Is Turned Into Something Beautiful.

Giant Wooden Cross Chained To Gay Street In NYC As Intolerance Message Is Turned Into Something Beautiful.

A giant wooden cross mysteriously appeared on Good Friday in the epicenter of the gay community in the West Village on Gay Street chained and locked to an apartment gate. Over the next nine days, the owner of the cross” would return and chain the cross to different parts of the Gay Street making it impossible for others to move it.

Gay St. resident Micah Latter, whose gate the cross was first chained to, said “Whatever [this person’s] point, [it] was lost in translation. Their actions were pointless and annoying. To be honest, I’m a Christian, and the cross means, love, peace and hope. And it was clear the owner of this cross did not share those values.”

On Sunday, Latter and ten neighbors and friends gathered to paint the cross the colors of the rainbow flag. They drank champagne and changed the locks so the original owner can no longer move it ― they’re now calling it “The Love Cross.”

“For two hours on a Sunday, it was just random strangers, tourists, straight couples, gay couples, kids and neighbors spreading love, painting rainbows on a cross, getting to know our neighbors, and drinking champagne on Gay St. It was a magical NYC evening Latter said.

And as for the cross’ original owner who left it as a message of intolerance. The residents of Gay St. just have one message: “Sorry you can’t move the cross anymore. We added our own love lock to your chain and superglued both key holes. The Love Cross belongs to the street now, so thank you!”

Gay Man Stabbed On NYC Subway In Apparent Hate Crime Attack

Gay Man Stabbed On NYC Subway In Apparent Hate Crime Attack

 

A man shouting homophobic slurs stabbed a gay man traveling with his boyfriend and his sister on a No. 1 train Saturday evening, according to the NYPD.

Police say the assailant got angry when he saw the victim, 28, with his partner, and argued with him as their northbound train pulled into 110th Street in Morningside Heights just after 7 p.m., cops said.

That’s when the attacker started yelling “you faggot!” at the victim.

He then stabbed the victim in the left side of the chest and fled, authorities said.

Emergency responders rushed the man to Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, where he remains in serious but stable condition.

The stabber was still at large Saturday night and is described as a male Hispanic, about 6’1″ wearing a white shirt and khaki shorts.

The NYPD  is investigating this violent attack as a hate crime.

Identity of the Dirty Dancing NYPD Pride Cop Revealed! – Bust A Move Boys!

Officer Michael Hance

 

The identity of the hot and humpy NYPD police officer who went above and beyond his duties at NYC’s Pride Parade by shaking his groove thang has been revealed.

BuzzFeed reports that the agile and fine looking police officers name is 16 year NYPD veteran Michael Hance.

Meet Officer Michael Hance! Unfortunately, although we tried repeatedly to convince the NYPD to let us speak with Hance, the department refused.

From his social media accounts, though, we know Hance is straight, single (!!), and has two young children.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he’s been with the NYPD for 16 years. In 2005, he was honored by the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association for his heroism and quick thinking in working with his partner to save the life of a young boy who had been choking.

We salute you Officer Hance for doing more to repair the NYPD’s reputation in 2 minutes than NYC has done in years.

Can send Officer Hance a message on Facebook to thank him here. ( Keep it clean boys)  https://www.facebook.com/michael.hance.98

 

LGBT History – WATCH: NYC’s Florent: Queen Of The Meat Market – Video

 

The documentary Florent: Queen Of The Meat Market, directed by David Sigal follows the rise and fall of openly gay and openly HIV+ Florent Morellet’s namesake Meatpacking District restaurant which was long the post-clubbing meeting place for a spectacular mix of NYC’s nightlife in an area that was once populated in NYC’s meatpacking district which at night was filled with leather bars, sex clubs, and disco’s before it became a “trendy” neighborhood

Florent’s restaurant was forced out of business last year due the neighborhood’s rampant gentrification

Another piece of NYC’s LGBT History lost forever.


You can watch the FULL DOCUMENTARY at HULU by CLICKING HERE