Singer Kevin Aviance attacked outside Manhattan, N.Y. gay bar

Monday, June 12, 2006

Kevin Aviance, a 38-year-old gay male drag queen and singer, was attacked outside the "Phoenix," a gay bar in Manhattan, New York's East Village. Police say that he suffered head injuries, a broken jaw and bruises, but is in stable condition.

"I thought they were going to kill me. I was thinking 'Is this the way I'm going to die?’” said Aviance.

Police call the assault a hate crime and say that four boys ages 16-20 are responsible for the attack. Police also say the boys were calling Aviance "faggot." Jarell Sears and Akino George, 20, Gregory Archie, 18 and Gerard Johnson, 16 are being charged with first-degree assault and hate crimes.

According to Len Evans, the publicist of Aviance, people who were walking by refused to help. Evans also said that Aviance was not in drag at the time of the attack, saying that he was "dressed like a boy." Evans also says that at least "six or seven" people were involved in the attack.

"They kicked me in my back, they kicked in my knees. They just kept kicking," said Aviance. "I've been doing this for 15 years and I've never been harassed. If anything people approach me with warmth."

Aviance was scheduled to perform at several gay pride events in Manhattan, before the pride parade on June 25. Evans says that he will not be performing at those events.

"I'm supposed to be doing all this stuff. With my jaw wired shut, what can I do?" added Aviance.

Aviance has had several number one dance hits including "Din Da Da" in 1997, "Alive" in 2003 and "Give It Up" in 2004.