NEW YORK: Hundreds Stage "Homophobia Kills" Die-In At Grand Central Terminal
Paul Schindler reports at Gay City News:
Several hundred LGBT New Yorkers gathered at Grand Central Terminal during evening rush hour on Friday, October 8 to conduct what organizers called a “Flash Mob: Homophobia Kills Die-In” in the center of the main concourse of the nation’s busiest transit hub. Several minutes after 6, activist Alan Bounville brought his fingers to his mouth to issue a loud whistle signaling the start of the action. A crowd of at least 300 immediately laid down on the floor, as Bounville and others unfurled a 12-foot by 12-foot yellow banner reading: END HOMO/ TRANSPHOBIC APARTHEID IN AMERICA.”Two of the protest's organizers from Queer SOS! were arrested and released shortly after with desk appearance tickets.
The crowd created a blockade for thousands of commuters rushing to and from the subways and Metro North commuter trains in the terminal. Police ordered participants to disperse or face arrest, while Todd Fernandez and Eugene Lovendusky read the names of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims of murder or of suicide prompted by bullying and violence. As the men called out each victim’s name, those on the floor shouted back the first name. As planned, after about three or four minutes on the floor, participants got back on their feet, and for several more minutes Fernandez, Lovendusky, and other organizers led the crowd in shouts of “Civil Rights Now.”