April 1, 2023

HOMOPHOBIC HORROR: Angry mob attacks openly gay councilman for his support of drag queens

HOMOPHOBIC HORROR: Angry mob attacks openly gay councilman for his support of drag queens

- Advertisement Above -

An angry mob descended on the home and office of openly gay New York City Councilman Erik Bottcher (D) Monday night, attacking a neighbor and vandalizing both his residence and workplace with vile homophobic graffiti.

“ERIK BOCCHER IS A PEDO CHILD GROOMER,” was written on the sidewalk outside of the main entrance to the councilman’s apartment –misspelling his name.

Though dark, the attack on Bottcher’s neighbor George Henderson was captured on video and shows the 52-year-old man being surrounded by at least half a dozen men, who repeatedly shoved Henderson in an unprovoked – and unjustifiable – physical assault.

Watch the video below. 

Councilman Bottcher’s support of the kid-friendly event, Drag Queen Story Hour, has led to vicious backlash from anti-LGBTQ activists making baseless accusations of child predation and the “sexualization” of children.

But the resilient politician refuses to be intimidated by the acts of stochastic and domestic terrorism.

“These people are hoping their tactics will silence us and intimidate us,” the NYC politician said. “But unfortunately for them, it is going to have the opposite effect. Our resolve is even more strengthened now,” The New York Times reported.

Sponsored Links

“This idea that children are being victimized at drag queen story hour” was an “unhinged right wing conspiracy theory,” Bottcher said in an interview.

The term “groomer,” is a term maliciously used by anti-LGBTQ activists and right-wing media, in an attempt to falsely portray members as pedophiles.

The local legislator shared photos of the graffiti outside his home on Twitter.

Sponsored Links

The chaos started on Monday afternoon when protesters showed up at Bottcher’s office, banging on the door and yelling at his staff for at least half an hour, before vandalizing the hallway on their way out.

“How come you don’t have police officers reading to the kids? How come you don’t have firefighters reading to the kids?” an angry voice is heard yelling in a video of the incident.

“How come you don’t even have a circus clown reading to the kids? Only drag queens,” the person added.

“Are you grooming them, Erik?”

Though the interaction took place behind closed doors, it is evident from the audio that it was a heated and aggressive verbal assault.

But the dangerous mob was nowhere near done.

Bottcher, who is Jewish, was attending a menorah lighting ceremony at the nearby synagogue, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, when the men assaulted Henderson and illegally entered the apartment building, which prompted the superintendent to call the police.

According to Henderson, he was walking his dog when he confronted the less-than-peaceful crowd, demanding they leave, and stop disturbing the quiet neighborhood.

“One guy was threatening me with his cigarette, pointing it at me, like he could burn my face with it,” Henderson said, according to The New York Times. “Another one of them came at me from behind and pushed me into a car,” he added.

Nearly two dozen protesters shouted foul language at the innocent victim, who was left with visible cuts on his face from physical assault.

After being alerted by his neighbors, Bottcher rushed home, where police tape was placed at the entrance.

Drag Story Hour, founded in 2015, is a non-profit based in New York City that organizes reading events at libraries around the country.

Though wildly popular, the event flew relatively under the radar–that is, until recently.

Armed far-right militia groups like the Proud Boys and White nationalist group Patriot Front have launched attacks on Drag Story Hours across the country.

Just recently, a drag queen was chased after a DSH event at a Chelsea library by protesters who surrounded the victim’s vehicle.

It wouldn’t be until police arrived on the scene that the unnamed drag performer was able to leave the area.

The co-founder of the family-friendly organization, Jonathan Hamilt, told reporters that the reason for creating the events was to open children’s minds to a society that is diverse, and create a safe space for them to “be free to be their most fabulous selves,” he said.

Performers who participate in Drag Story Hour must pass local, state, and federal background checks, Hamilt said.

In New York City, they’re also required to take a child safety course, NYT wrote.

Attacks on drag queens and transgender (not synonymous), have become more frequent and increasingly violent over the past year.

Sponsored Links

Slanderous and discriminatory rhetoric from GOP politicians and right-wing political pundits have only amplified and exacerbated the hate.

Watch the video of the attack on the NYC councilman’s neighbor, Mr. Henderson, here.

Original reporting by Liam Stack at the New York Times

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

Sponsored Links