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11 comments | Thursday, June 11, 2009

On the early hours of May 28th Patrick Boland's dead body was found apparently due to two stabbings to the chest. Specific details are not yet being released. However, his tragic death is being handled with a level of hypocritical insensitivity which turns my stomach!

As reports of his death circulated, the common statement was that he should not have been in the park at 2AM. Strong inferences were that he deserved what he got for cruising the park at night.

The fact that it was illegal to be in the park at 2 AM is not in question for me. The fact that he was cruising for sex is not in question for me. I draw the line when people begin judging him as if he deserved to be murdered. And to hear it from people that I have personally seen in dark indecent places makes me wanna slap some of them in the face for being so hypocritical. Now some people might slap me for spilling this REAL TEA!

Having sex in the park is not exclusive to same gender loving men. Heterosexuals have done it throughout the test of time. Does anyone remember the song "Rock Creek Park" by The Blackbyrds? The lyrics were plain as plain could be: "Doing it in the park, doing it after dark, oh yeah, doing it awfully hard (oh yeah), doing it awfully hard". They weren't talking about two men, they were talking about a man and a woman. The whole double standard about it was that the Blackbryds were able to make a hit record out of the declaration of this behavior and it was accepted. But had it been about two men, I'm sure the Blackbryds would have been stoned!

Because the situation involves a same gender loving person, it plays into all the prejudices that is associated with what straight people think about what gay men do and who gay men are. When straight men do it, it is usually met with a badge of honor while gay men fall into the ditch of shame.

Anonymous sex and cruising for sex has been a part of the gay male culture for centuries and will be for more centuries to come. It may not be cute to admit, but it is what it is. Gay men cruise WHEREVER and WHENEVER they can. They cruise in the streets, the malls, park, trains, public bathrooms, movie theaters, gyms, department stores, CHURCHES...WHERE EVER! For a majority of gay men cruising is sort of a rite of passage. When two men find themselves attracted to each other they will inevitably cruise each other until something happens. Whether the end result is a quick nut or an exchange of numbers, the first step is to cruise each other. For a gay man to say that he has NEVER cruised another man is in my opinion...A LIE!!!

In other words, it is okay for me to go to the local bar and cruise men 4 nights out of the week, but it is not ok for me to go to The BATHHOUSE when I am horny and don't have a steady man to give me my release. It is okay for me to have 6 different steady sex buddies, but it is not okay for me to find someone at the park and take them home. It is okay for me to go to the club and meet someone and have sex with them in the parking lot but it is not okay for me to go cruising in the park. It is okay for me to spend four hours on the gym floor and talk to all the cuties and take their numbers and sleep with them after a good workout, but it is not okay for me to pick someone up in the sauna. Can we say... H Y P O C R I T E S?

Now if we are going to be really honest, there is no one to blame but society. CRUISING IS A BY-PRODUCT OF HOMOPHOBIA! Yeah I said it! People want to judge and place blame but the real truth is that gay men started cruising because they were not allowed to love openly and publicly. At one point it was deemed illegal for two men to be together (even during an innocent act such as holding hands). This country has a long shameful history of having laws (both civil and religious) that prohibited same gender loving people to express themselves. Yet society will be the first to blame Same Gender Loving people for finding alternative ways to find their "freedom" in spite of all the obstacles.

To be clear my stance is that grown people are going to do what they want to do. Who am I to judge when I know that there are skeletons in my closet as well. It reminds me of JOHN 8:7 where it says: So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast the first stone at her". I'm not condoning sexual acts in public. That is not what this "blog" is about. I will write another blog about that in the near future. What I am saying is that NO ONE'S life should be devalued or diminished because of a personal choice that they have made. None of us are perfect. And some of us continue to do the same thing Patrick Boland did, the only difference is that some of us continue to get away with it while on the night of May 28th, Patrick Boland did not!

Rest In Peace Patrick.

Jon Ortiz Jon Gabriel Ortiz is native of New York and has been living in Atlanta for 5 years. Jon has been working as an HIV prevention specialist and a community activist for almost 25 focusing on issues facing same gender loving people of color. Listen to Jon speak about this issue on Atlanta's Alternative Perspectives, a podcast for the Atlanta LGBT community here.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I generally concur about men being men, but don't you think the inherent danger that we know exists in late night rendezvous is one we have to accept to live with if we persist in sating our sex johns in that way?

After all, we now have more [organized] choices: bathhouses, glory holes, organized sex parties where the risks are less acute. And any of these can be accessed by logging on to a computer - thereby obviating the need for [the more dangerous] late night sex in the bushes.

Boland's death is a terrible tragedy, but would you recommend late night park sex for any of your friends knowing what we know about its risks?

June 11, 2009 8:35 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...


Organized choices can be costly.

1)Bathhouses: $20-$25
2)Organized sex parties: $10-$15

Piedmont Park/Atlanta: free
Malcolm X Park/DC: Free
Prospect Park/Brooklyn,NY: free

All the above are free but deadly.

June 11, 2009 11:44 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hell we all know of dangers, but that give any of us the right to feel happy or think a person deserves to take out because of where went to have sex...

June 11, 2009 12:30 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I agree with SebaSpace. There are just too many options out there. In addition to the bathouses, organized sex parties, and internet, there are vid arcades where if you practice an average amount of discretion, its pretty easy to hookup with people. Ah! And there are also clubs/bars (picking up, backrooms, bathrooms). If you don't have 5 to 25 bucks to get off then for the love of god, hold off. You don't have to stick your prick or arse out every time you become aroused. Thats one if not the main reason so many black MSM men (including myself) have HIV. Too bad I had to contract the virus to realize that constantly hunting for sex isn't healthy in any sense of the word.

I get it. When people are sad and lonely, we're prone to do seriously stupid shit but even when we do em, we retain an amount of self control to stop ourselves unless we're physiologically incapable of it.

My advice? Think before you go having sex. Think about safe-sex, STDs, your safety, costs, and your self-worth before jumping in bed or the cum soaking bench with some ol john who doesn't give much of a damn about you.

June 11, 2009 12:37 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Many people ARE closeted and don't want to go to a sex party. Many believe that "straight" men or truly masculine black men are not going to be in a bathhouse or would even know where a bathhouse is. I lived the gay life and only saw one bathhouse in my day and that because it was on the corner of my job at the time. Many sex parties only want the fine masculine cats. Many peeps just want a quickie and go out at the spur of the moment, etc... There are many reasons gay men have anonymous sex in parks and other places.


June 11, 2009 2:08 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...


Exactly! Especially, let's NOT give the killer an excuse.

June 11, 2009 4:04 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

YES@ SebaSpace. I agree with you, down.

Boland's murder is unjustified, however, it is very careless to CRUISE parks for sex, especially during prohibited hours.In this day of STI prominence, I don't get going out and picking up someone you don't know, a stranger, for as Jon Ortiz put it, "a quick nut." That makes no sense. Is it that serious? Why are we always characterized as fiends for sex? The excuse "A MAN IS GOING TO DO WHAT A MAN IS GOING TO DO, A MAN HAS NEEDS" is tired.

Oh, and I can easily say I have never cruised. In fact, I know many girls who can say the same. I like to THOROUGHLY know who I am being screwed by. Anonymous sex/cruising is TOO risky. Who wants to die for an hour or so of pleasure?

June 11, 2009 5:13 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

While I personally find this article kind of pathetic. I mean I respect the reason why you wrote it but I feel the article lacks accountability and proper execution. I have never "cruised" anything and I am a gay male. The truth is times have changed since the 70's, 80's, and 90's. There is this lovely invention called the WORLD WIDE WEB which has revolutionized the ability of gay men to meet up, hook up, and do whatever else. Society may make us live invisible lives. But the internet makes it possible for us to do our thing. You wanna hook up get on BGC, A4A, or any of the other sites. There is no REAL reason to put yourself into harms way by going into a public place where you can run across all kinds of men. Some clean some unclean. now BGC and A4A cannot prevent harm from happening but they are great filters. You can see a pic, get a feel of the person, etc.

This mans death is sad but I will not use his death as a pass for gay men who cruise. It's illegal, and its dangerous. There has to be a better way.

June 12, 2009 9:08 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Letz understand that the fire beneath my writing this blog was about how Patrick Boland's murder was met with such blatant social apathy. Like I said on the radio, I can understand that he was trespassing and that it was a dangerous gamble to begin with...I got all that. However, the punishment (murder) does not justify the crime.

Now to speak to the suggestions that there are other venues to choose from when you need that nut! Well I'm sorry to break the bubble, but all the aforementioned "choices" also carry a load of danger. Take Michael Sandy who met a man on an online gay chat room and arranged to meet for sex. When he arrived at the agreed upon Plumb Beach location, he was robbed and severely beaten. He tried to escape but got hit by a car and after lying in the hospital in a coma, he eventually died. Or how about 19-year old Rashawn Brazell, who's remains were found in garbage bags at three different train stations in NYC. RUMORS have it that he met this person either online or on the phone line. And lastly, I remember when I was younger gong to a bathhouse and it was closed down because someone had stuck a large knife in the rectum of one of the patrons who bled to death without anyone knowing for hours.

It really doesn't matter where you go for anonymous sex, the truth is that all of it is potentially dangerous. So discretion is a must but not a guarantee.

June 12, 2009 6:30 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

The one indisputable fact of this article is that gay "cruising" in secluded, potentially dangerous places has its genesis in the social unacceptability of openly expressing interest in another man, i.e. homophobia.
THAT'S why the gay marriage movement is important.
"Normal" has to start including the fact that men can be attracted to men - and that it's just part of normal, everyday life.

June 13, 2009 12:04 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I read about this story in the Southern Voice a couple of weeks ago.

I think cruising in bathrooms, parks, truck stops and other public places is tacky, dangerous and a sign of low self-esteem.

Here in Tennessee there have been several sting operations in the last couple of years aimed at park cruising.

Did the man deserve to die? No. But I believe people who have public sex are playing with fire and sometimes you are going to get burned.

I never thought I'd say this but maybe they need to bring the bathhouse back!

June 15, 2009 12:26 PM


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