GAY AUSTIN September 1978
violence in gay austin
Everywhere at Once
I'm back. Was I gone? Lots has happened here.
I have a dull, pressing pain in my head, near the top,
and a teasingsore throat. It could be the heat here,
the climate. I've been gone three months, and I'm
not used to 1t. But 1t also could be gonorrhea. I
My tongue is not swollen. When Steve got throat gonorrhea his tongue swelled, and he had trouble speaking. Last I heard he was taking tablets and waiting
for the swelling to go down. His doctor told his mother he had a staff infection. Or was it strep
throat? I can't remember.
This is a violent place. At least 1t seems so.
probably no different than any other.
In June, so I'm told, a friend of a friend of mine
had it 1n mind to bring someone home with him. This
friend of a friend, I hear, is blond and baby-faced.
I imagine him with a tan, and blue eyes, though I
can't say for sure, as I've never nut him. He
lived in an apartment, alone, as of June. I don't
know where he lives now.
This friend, as I say, wanted someone to go home
with him, to have sex. He Hkes Vaseline Intensive
Care Lotion. I used to use that a lot, but I quit,
partly because I was scared of what might be in 1t.
Also, you can't eat 1t. At least I can't.
I don't know anything about the next part, so I
won't speculate. I have thought about it, but I
don't want to share my thoughts.
This friend of a friend was found stabbed 108 times.
The police say there was lotion all over the apartment, I'm told, and all over the body, particularly
in the rectal area. They asked my friend if he could
explain why that might be. They said others they had
talked with were reluctant to discuss it. My friend
didn't answer them. I don't blame him. I don't like
rhetorical questions, and I'm sure they are worse
"3Fci. tAe active man"
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coming from police officers.
All the knife holes were in his back, someone told
me. Someone else said his face was also bashed in.
I'm not sure I should believe all I'm told. Originally I was told the guy was stabbed only 20 times, a
la Goodbar. It may be like that immortal fish story,
about the big one that got away. No one ever told me
that story, but I know it. I never liked fishing.
The grandparents of this friend of a friend knew he
was homosexual. His parents didn't, at least not
until after he was murdered. I don't know how they
feel. They might have been close to him, which of
course would make a difference, but circumstances
make that seem unlikely. After all, they didn't
know he was homosexual. My parents don't know about
me, either. That says something, and then again . . .
I do plan to tell them, perhaBS in the near future,
preferably before I get murdered. The odds are 1n
my favor, I suppose.
Still, they haven't caught whoever freaked out and
killed the friend of my friend. Work on the case has
been slow. The police have some semblance of a description, and they have given 1t out to the bar owners in town.
Last week a bartender thought he saw someone who
matched the description, and he called downtown.
Two hours later someone showed up to check it out.
I think the lead fizzled out.
My throat feel? better. My head still hurts. I really don't think I have gonorrhea.
About a month after the murder, one of the kid's
former lovers killed himself. I guess the murder
wasn't the only thing on his mind. His business
wasn't doing very well, I'm told. He had been depressed. I didn't know him, and as far as I know
none of my friends knew him either.
The former owner of one of the local gay bars killed
himself, too. The bar hadn't been doing well at all
last spring, and just before I left (did I ever go?)
the owner closed the place down, and put it up for
sale, I guess.
They say he was under severe pressure. Something
about back taxes, I have heard.
I don't know if the bar can be sold, at least as a
bar. And of course if It does reopen there's no
guarantee 1t will be a gay bar. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it were straight. That
would leave us with four bars, three bookstores,
the baths. Pease Park, street cruising, and several
social and political organizations. Oh—and the
various and sundry tearooms situated across town, but
those don't really Interest me anymore.
I don't know. Somehow moving to San Francisco just
doesn't seem to be the answer. We've lived there all
our lives anyway. Just last year, a gang jumped a
guy in a parking lot down the street, and murdered
him 1n the name of Anita Bryant. He was a friend of
a friend, too.