Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Bashing in Midtown Manhattan: NYPD Investigating Brazen Hate Crime

Gay couple, Nick Porto (l) and Kevin Atkins (r), bashed in broad daylight near Madison Square Garden. Atkins wrist was broken in the attack. [DNAInfo/Ben Fractenberg photo]

Gay couple, Nick Porto (l) and Kevin Atkins (r), bashed in broad daylight near Madison Square Garden. Atkins’ wrist was broken in the attack. [DNAInfo/Ben Fractenberg photo]

New York City, New York – A gay couple walking arm-in-arm outside Madison Square Garden were attacked by young men shouting “Faggots!” according to CBS New York.  Nick Porto, 27, and Kevin Atkins, 22, allege that as they were walking on 8th Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets on Sunday while the New York Knicks were playing the Indiana Pacers in the Garden, a group of men in their 20s wearing Knicks jerseys hurled epithets at them and making fun of their clothing.  The assault swiftly followed the hate speech.

The gay men were then knocked to the pavement, beaten, punched, and kicked.  The pair attempted to fight off their attackers, but in vain. “Fists started flying. I was on the ground, and the only thing I could do, I reached out and grabbed someone’s hair,” Porto said.  First responders rushed the couple to Bellevue Hospital where Atkins was put in a cast for a broken right wrist.  Atkins reported that his iPad was smashed in the attack, as well.  Since his job for reality television requires accurate typing, Atkins will be unable to work until he heals.  Porto, a clothing designer who is a resident of Brooklyn now says he cannot feel safe as a gay man in New York City.   “I was being foolish,” he said, hampered by a broken nose. “I was so naïve to think that things were better here.” 

The brazen attack in broad daylight elicited anger and resolve to catch the men who harmed Porto and Atkins.  Mayoral candidate and city council woman Christine Quinn issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the attack in strong terms.  She said, according to Pix 11“I am appalled by reports of a gay bashing in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday afternoon. Hateful assaults like these are an affront to everything our great City stands for and I urge the perpetrators to turn themselves in immediately. I also implore anyone who may have witnessed or recorded footage of the attack to come forward to the authorities at once.”  Instinct Magazine reports that police are searching for four men whose images were caught on surveillance cameras. Authorities are approaching the case as an anti-gay hate crime.

May 8, 2013 - Posted by | Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, Christine Quinn, gay bashing, gay men, GLBTQ, Hate Crimes, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, LGBTQ, New York, Slurs and epithets, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. New York City is a patchwork of communities. Actually around Madison Square Garden is not much of a community, rather an entertainment and transportation hub. Therefore this area is dictated socially more by the people that use it than possibly live their. New York is extremely transient in this area, and being so it reflects easily a broad community, radiating at least 200 miles in radius.

    Many parts of the city I would feel safe in, but never in Midtown as it is sometimes referred as. Not in the late 60’s and early 70’s when I lived there as an openly Gay man did I feel safe there, nor would I today. It just proves this is going to be a long fight for justice nationally and people should watch their back.

    It is unfortunate to have to feel protective and insecure this way especially today when it is truly a day of celebration, having Delaware enter the renewed union of an inclusive and affirming United States of America, where there truly is liberty and justice for all.

    Comment by Robert A. Kates | May 8, 2013

    • I beg to differ .are you aware of the ongoing gentrification in the area ? That is actually the beginning of Clinton and New York’ ‘s new “gayborhood. The LGBT community just has to be more brazen and combatant with these hooligans.

      Comment by alston green (@alston1951) | May 9, 2013

      • I was not totally aware of this new LGBTQ area of Manhattan, however if you mean ‘brazen & combatant’ to mean more proper public awareness and demanding better law enforcement and security — I am all for it.

        Comment by Robert Kates | May 11, 2013

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