On Monday January 29, 2007 at approximately 7pm, at The Hole in the Wall Saloon (San Francisco), I was threatened with SEVERE violence by another patron. (Threats like: "I'll beat you senseless, I'll kill you, I'll slice you up!") He hollered so loud and clear that--even amid the intense boom-boom of the music speakers--I'd be surprised if no one in the front of the bar did not hear all his words. (There were at least ten witnesses easily within earshot of the offender.) The man who threatened me goes by name of Chris; he has long, red hair often wound up beneath some head gear. He stands approximately 5' 7", is around 40 years old, has bad teeth, and can talk up a storm. He dresses street punk, rides bicycle, and carries a cue stick in a home-made black sheath with glittering discs the shape and size of nickels.
Chris has never harassed me before. In fact, we've had many enjoyable encounters at Hole in the Wall; so I'd come to consider him a friend, or at least a friendly acquaintance. The bartender on duty, Gary, did nothing when I ran up to him behind some customers, and hollered that Chris has just threatened me with extreme violence; he should be kicked out. Instead of protecting me (and everyone else there) by doing just that, Gary threatened to kick us BOTH out! Angered, I told him that won't be necessary; I'll leave right now, and will never return.
I have since heard that bartender Gary is covering his butt by claiming he witnessed the whole incident, and that Chris had not yelled threats at me, that I'm just making things up or exaggerating. I know that eventually the truth will out, and prove me right as rain. (However, Gary's lying makes me look bad, hence broadcasts seeds of hatred against me even further. This is defamation of my good character, as well as potential to bring real violence upon me. Gary, all you had to do was the right thing, and kick him out...then, your job would NOT be at risk, which inspires you to lie. I am very disheartened over your failure to protect a harmless and friendly patron, especially since I've always thought well of you.)
I have also come to understand that one or more bartenders and patrons have been gossiping about me, in order to stir up unwarranted hatred. This seems to be one such attempt. It has also caused several other patrons of SOMA bars to be all riled up against me, because they can't see through the gossip instigated by a particular bartender or two. It all started with jealousy over someone I befriended (name of Larkin) who himself was eventually intimidated from hanging out with me, and even driven out of that bar (because he continued to be friendly in surreptitious ways).
Though sad to say, in his case his participation in certain mischief makes him partly responsible for his own unhappy outcome: loss of job, housing, and 86'd from all the SOMA bars. (I am very glad to learn however, that Larkin's managed to keep a roof over his lovely red-haired head, and found a new job...which job as it turns out, is right across the street from where I live! All I've ever wanted to do is be a best friend to you, sweetheart. Is there still a chance? And if you do call, how will I know it's not another stupid setup? Trust HAS been broken.) Folks, this guy is a beautiful man...check out the 8-1/2" x 11" B&W photo they put up on the saloon wall after they gave him the boot...in all his 6'4" naked glory, draped in a flag. Very artful...yum!.
Meanwhile, I suggest that those decent patrons of this saloon cease going there for their own protection (if not to take a stand for my sake). I've concluded there is some very bad mojo going on there and--sad to say--in at least one other SOMA bar (The Eagle Tavern), where unsavory types like Chris also hang out.
Can you imagine somehow turning all this criminal, backstabbing behavior into a POSITIVE energy to make our queer bars and streets friendlier and safer? One can only dream. In fact, that IS my dream...so I hope that, once the dust settles over this matter, things will be a lot better all around, and independent gay activists like me will be appreciated for our years of dedication and courage, instead of vilified and attacked for no reason except to manifest sheer hate.
Meanwhile, all you vicious, petty-minded, paranoid, jealous, and black-magic-egomaniacal drama queens: watch out...'cause bad karma has a way of biting you back in the keister when you least expect it. And stop whining about all The Castro bars being filled with nasty queers. You vacuous-headed homunculi who frequent the gay SOMA bars take the cake when it comes to all-out bitch-slappin' meanness.
In closing: I will miss immensely all the GOOD friends I made there, some of whom no doubt will be brainwashed to avoid me, from the continued gossip. But if any of you consider me a real friend, and still have my phone number, CALL ME. (Because I won't ever again bother to frequent any part of SOMA w/o a bodyguard.) We'll do coffee somewhere else in the city, where it's a heck of a lot safer.
Freelance gay activist in SF since 1975