When my friend Eddie Garzon was killed, I also heard some people in the community question if he had brought it upon himself by walking home alone that night, never mind that he had been accompanied, most of the way, by a friend. People: No one that I know wishes to bring a beating or death upon themselves, even if they are walking alone down a sidewalk at night. Despite being despicable, those comments unfortunately shine a light on the internalized-homophobia that still afflicts so many of us so that we would rather place blame on the person that was attacked rather than the actual people who did the beating.
Below is a reply that was just posted to the original entry which addresses this point as well as others and gives an update on how Emanuel is doing:
From: Leo ToroUpdate: Gay City News Cover Story - Emanuel Xavier (November 15, 2005)
Sent: Sun 10/30/2005 7:46 PM
Subject: [Blabbeando] Emanuel Xavier brutaly beaten, expected to recover
Emanuel would like to thank the many people who have sent him their love, prayers and support. He is healing both physically and emotionally. Medical examinations determined everything intact and he is scheduled to see an audiologist regarding questions and concerns over temporary hearing impairment.
I would like to personally take this time to dispel certain rumors. Though one of his poems recently appeared in the Almighty Latin King & Queen Nation newsletter, [the attack] was not an "initiation" by the Latin Kings or premeditated attack by a rival group. Emanuel is not affiliated with any gang. This was not a hate crime or biased attack. It was completely random. Emanuel happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. The incident occured on a street in Bushwick at around 8pm while Emanuel was on route to visit his mother. Despite a controversial past, Emanuel was not out hustling, buying or selling drugs or looking for trouble. He grew up, currently resides in Bushwick and has never feared walking the streets alone.
Emanuel has experienced much in life and has always persevered. He is a survivor and this unfortunate incident should only fuel his strength and courage to speak out against the injustices we all face in the world today.