Andrew Belonsky

Vodka Shooting: A Tale of Fluid Gay Hate

Filed By Andrew Belonsky | July 20, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: hate crimes against LGBT people, homophobic behavior, News, Nuvo, vodka

By now we're all too familiar with hate crime reports: an attacker hates gays or imagines a gay advance and takes it out on an LGBT person or persons. Anti-gay attacks, however, are much more malleable, less rigid; just consider the case of the "gay" vodka.

pinkvodka.jpgHere's the scene: a party in San Antonio, Texas, Saturday night. An uninvited man shows up, but not being a complete jerk, brings his own drink, a sparking drink called Nuvo. Another guest, James Collins, found the bottle's design to be humorous, even fey.

A little loose and enjoying himself, Collins began ragging on the man's beverage. From an incident report: "[Collins said the] bottle looked like a lipstick cap, indicating that [the alleged shooter] is or was a homosexual, which made [him] upset." Unamused, the unknown man shot Collins in the stomach and fled without even thanking the host. Surely this man needs to work on his manners. He also needs to work out that homophobia.

I doubt very much that this shooting would have taken place had the alleged shooter not held some anti-gay views. Actually, extreme anti-gay views: the idea that his preferred beverage made him "gay," and therefore in his eyes, less of a man, sent him into a murderous rage. Now he's on the run, Collins remains in the hospital and that will forever be these people's least fun party.

Though not legally a hate crime, this shooting makes evident that anti-gay attitudes manifest themselves in myriad ways and they're too often violent. Everybody can be a target for anti-gay violence, even if they're not gay or, as Collins' joke suggests, gay friend. It's for this, and so many other reasons, that everyone needs to fight homophobia, because it hurts us all.


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This is the problem with the hate crime statistics we see- they are notoriously underreported because they don't always recognize when the person is targeted because of perceived sexuality, which is still homophobia based, in my opinion. Thanks for sharing this!

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Wendell Cochran | July 21, 2010 3:07 PM

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While the idea that the alleged shooter was homophobic is possible, it is also possible that the alleged shooter was, in fact, homosexual, and saw the insults as being homophobic. Possibly homophobic enough for the shooter to consider an attempted murder.
There are many reasons for one man to attack another, pride, mental illness, loss of touch with reality, vengeance, etc;
HOWEVER,
the facts are that one man brought a bottle of nuvo, another man insulted the first man for it, and the first man shot the other. If you are going to speculate, please consider ALL possible speculations.
While I understand the need for "moderation". I would be extremely disappointed if free speech was shown to be limited on this website.