It is a week of Sun and blue skies. The city vibrates on the eve of that station, millions are waiting for months. The trees change her look naked by the pulsating colors of the flowers that surround them. In the streets people have changed the dark winter coats by intense springtime tones and no longer to say 'good night' at 5 in the afternoon. The metal dome of the Chrysler building now reflects the last rays of the Sun, almost at 8 pm. The tables of restaurants and bars are taken again the platforms. It is New York in their race towards the summer, laying off its air of Gotham City to be home to millions of smiles.
But, so despite the vibrant spring, there a smile this week hesitate before drawing in the face. My smile does not opens today with the same ease that a week ago. Attacked by the thousand questions that fade into the question, the only question that lingers like a hammer on work is: "Where is the love?"
An eight-point suture crosses my left eyebrow almost from one end to another, over one eye that timidly begins opening surrounded by a several purple bruise. My jaw hurts, my ribs hurt, my back hurts but above all.. .you hurts the soul.
It is the week of my birthday, the birthday of my father, of the wedding anniversary of my parents love and the week in which the New Yorkers have sung spring. Officially, the station had begun more than one month ago, but temperatures nor the grey skies seemed to verify this very effectively.
With the force to which pushes the new station and so many reasons to celebrate, I venture into the urban safari. It accompanies me a friend and our whim of the night is to find a karaoke. In the city that never sleeps, Monday gives almost the same as for effects of options Friday. The mood of the people is rising anxiety produced by the arrival of the summer. The bars display a decent crowd and drinks are served as if it were last week.
We went to a bar in 4West and Seventh Avenue and we do not sit on the side of the pool table facing the bar and just in front of a small stage where we hypothesize that karaoke will take place, but after the first drink, inquire with the bartender that he explains to us that we have to wait until Tuesday if we want "karaoke night". Empecinados with an open mic night, we left the Downtown bar to continue the search. Cell phones tell us that there is a bar in Midtown and decided, we walked to the train station to conquer our objective. Monday, midnight, and the platform; Dazed people. We got on a train going local and arriving at the 14th Street station, we see an express train to the front and run to enter until the doors are closed. Months ago it did not see a train so full on a Monday night.
It was as if, throughout the winter, people had been waiting for that day to celebrate life.
Apart from that, nothing is very different from any other night in New York. People of all colors, all trends fashion, three or four languages mixed with the sounds of the train; groups of friends, couples, lonely, elderly, young, some ending a long day of work, others starting a night of lights in the city.
In the absence of available seats, we travel on foot. My friend, lying against the bar from the Center listening to the music from your Ipod, and I, almost at the door, waiting for our season to get off.
It was, in fact, a very calm coach. Anyone who has been in New York knows that, especially during the night, it is likely to find a group of haciendopiruetas and contortions freestylers jumping all train, watch a 70 year old lady singing La Cucaracha, while chewing gum as a pre-puber or listen to the apocalyptic words of any subject who preaches the nearness of the end of the world.
My standby a man me approaching and asks me for my friend:
"It is quite enjoying music, isn't it?", he says.
"Yes, we have many reasons to celebrate tonight," I reply.
Nothing man struck me particularly as his gaze. 1.71 of such stature, black leather, shirt buttoned up to the neck, trousers of prenses. But his eyes did not correspond to the language of your body.
When I tried to draw the attention of my friend, the man takes the jacket and tells me, raising the voice: "do Your friend´s a faggot, isn´t I?". I wanted to think that there was no malice in his question and ignored it. Then I pulled back and said to me: "and you? You are queer too, isn't it? "."
More uncomfortable with the tone in which said it that with the question at hand, I replied without hesitation: "Yes, the two are"faggots". There is nothing special in that, right? "."
My words were like throw jets of oil in a bonfire. The man, with eyes almost spilling out of her face, began to scream without stopping:
"Fags. Each and every one should dying. Nobody wants the fags. It's no secret to the world that nobody wants them here. Everyone should die".
A little perplexed at the caliber of his words, naively expected the reaction of someone on the train, but indifferent perhaps, or soon as overwhelmed as I, all remained petrified.
My mouth needed to talk. "His words have no sense," I told her. "We are in New York and is the year 2013″.
What man almost instinctively responded shouting, while I pushed to the floor: "FAGGOTS!"
I quickly answered and I got up. The man did not stop repeating the same words, one time after another, as if I would like to burn them in the ears of every one of the people that, bewildered, looked or ignored the scene.
At that time I walked towards the man and my friend tried to stop me and make me walk to the other side of the train. When my body by the pull of my friend, the man let come their rage on me and his fist met my eye. Keep then I capped me face, to protect me, and I felt the blood bathing my hands.
Calm had already lost. A voice in the basement of my mind told me that it was quiet and sought help, but the voice of my survival instinct pushing me towards him.
When the blood was on the floor of the train, and it was evident that the proportion of the facts had spilled the normality, man began to run toward the back and I I undertook his hunting career.
Neither the adrenaline and the inability to see by an eye at that moment, I can remember much of the environment. I lost consciousness from my friend, and people of the train passing by my view as flashes. We crossed to the next carriage, where the scene lacked context.
Opens the back door of the car, a man crosses running and, behind him, to his fighter, a subject with blood on the clothes, face and hands. Any surprise he would have hunted cameras and a production team shooting an action movie, but the reality rarely had felt so real to me.
Speakers of the train were activated and the speed was reduced.
In delusions of persecution, all what was happening to my around was "background".
When we crossed a wagon to another man is pulled to one side and grabbed the side of the train to launch into the railway. Each piece of the second looked like a lifetime. Suddenly, stopped the madness. again opened the door behind me and someone from the inside, I fastened to the inside of the train.
The train doors were open and were waiting outside police and paramedics.
At that time all the energy that I accompanied the race collapsed and I had the feeling of waking up from a nightmare of those which one rises to sweating and disoriented.
Questions of routine, ambulance, hospital.
Never a syringe needle had entered as easy as my body at that time. All my notions of reality seemed to have vanished. Even my skin felt the anesthesia, and much less, the eight points that heal the wound in my eye.
What began as a celebration turned into a nightmare.
Today I celebrate the life, but I disdain the intolerance.
Homophobia not can continue hiding behind the facade of religions or ideologies. Respect for the life of the other and their decisions, insofar as they do not hurt anyone, is absolutely necessary.
A vote in Congress against policies such as equal marriage hides more intolerance than are willing to admit.
History today I share with you did not take place in a villa in Africa in the Apartheid era. It occurred in one of the most diverse in the world cities, the eyes of dozens of people in a year in which the whole world has turned his eyes to the inequality and discrimination based on sexual orientation.
My flag is not activism. Understanding and respect should not be two words that nobody has to fight in the lobby of a Congress.
I have engraved in my mind the look of that man while you insulted us repeatedly and loudly. I remember never seen before, so much hatred in a pair of eyes. And then, in a matter of hours only, the desmesurado love and support I received from all my friends and my family. The two wake me trembling feelings that have continued to emerge second after second since that night. But it is the love you today I choose to embrace. The hate I leave to those who left his soul.
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