Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Escaping from Gay-bashers
We were driving with our friend Stephen to see "Duplicity," when Stephen said he had read Mark Doty's blog about his escaping from gay-bashing thugs in North Beach. "Do you remember what happened to us in Sporters?" Stephen asked John. John remembered. Years ago he and Stephen had gone to Sporters, a gay bar on Cambridge Street in Boston. A group of young men came in, looking for trouble, looking to hassle the men at the bar. They mouthed off at John. He gave it back to them. "I said, 'Fuck off, asshole,' John told me. "Nothing as witty as Oscar Wilde." They left, but soon John and Stephen learned they were waiting outside, waiting to attack. According to Stephen, within minutes Lloyd Frame, who was in the bar, called the police. He told them a group of thugs was beating up an old woman. The police would not come out to protect patrons of Sporters. "Betsy saved us," Stephen said. "She was my guardian angel," John said. Betsy, a woman they hardly knew, rushed from the bar to her car, drove up to Sporters, and rescued John and Stephen, driving them to Charles Street Station. "You weren't in the car," John said to Stephen. "I was; she drove us both. The police came out in force. I remember seeing a paddy wagon pull up as we drove off." "I don't remember that; I only remember being afraid they would follow me into the subway." "I was there," Stephen said, "in the station." "You went one way; I went another," John said. Stephen would have stood on the inbound platform, John on the outbound. They would have seen each other across the tracks. It would have been late at night. "How many of them were there?" I asked. "Five or six," John said. I asked about Lloyd Frame. He worked at Harvard; he drank, died young. Clever Lloyd Frame. Brave resourceful Betsy. "They knew what to do," John said.