Wednesday, June 18, 2008

(At San Francisco's City Hall on Monday, a gay guitar player sings before suffering cardiac arrest. Photo credit: Storm Bear,

Gay Suffers Heart Attack at Marriage Rally;
Hater Says "Satan Got You"

As the majority of the crowd outside San Francisco's City Hall celebrated the first lesbian wedding taking place in the historic building, a gay man suffered a heart attack and was quickly tended to by emergency medical personnel.

I don't know the man's name, but I affectionately call him Joni because I frequently see him at community vigils and demonstrations, with his guitar, leading crowds in songs of love and protest.

A few minutes after Joni led us in singing "All You Need is Love," and at about the same time Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were exchanging marriage vows, Joni collapse. I was standing a few feet away from him as firefighters began performing CPR. On another part of the sidewalk near this scene was reporter Storm Bear, from the site, who wrote this account what he witnessed:
One gentleman, a supporter dressed head to toe in leather, was playing his guitar and suddenly dropped like a tree at my feet, before I could bend down to check his pulse, cops swarmed the guy and started CPR. They were very professional.

Sadly, I think he might have died. They resuscitated him for 20 minutes and he did not respond. They started an IV of 1 liter of saline and gave him O2. About 10 minutes in, he swallowed and kinda of coughed and the crowd cheered.

It was so quick. He just fell. Within minutes he was ashen and grey . . .

The guitar player was so happy and joyful and he just dropped - reminded me of Tim Russert.

One of the Christian protesters was chanting at his body - "Satan Got You!" "What is the Devil whispering in your ear about now?"

I yelled at the guy, "If you are such a Christian, why aren't you praying for the guy dying on the concrete?" The protester replied, "God killed him for loving fags!!" The cops even stepped in and told the guy to shut his mouth.

I have no idea what the ultimate fate of the guitar player is. I have high hopes he will live to sing another day.
There is good news to report on Joni's condition. After calling and emailing numerous politicians, the fire department, local hospitals and the health department for information, my friend gay Supervisor Bevan Dufty sent me a message. Dufty found out that Joni suffered cardiac arrest, was taken to St. Mary's hospital and is in guarded condition.

Let us hope and pray Joni continues to recover and regains his strength.

And if someone knows his real name, please share it with me. When I get more information on Joni, I will post it here.

Below are photos from Monday of the homo-hater making his views known. I took a photo of police officers performing life-saving CPR on the gay community's beloved troubadour, but because of personal ethical qualms, I'm not posting it.

The hater who said outrageously stupid things, as a gay man fell ill. Photo credit: Storm Bear.

My photo of the hater, taken before the gay man went into cardiac arrest.


Anonymous said...

I too have seen him for years around the City. I think his name is Francis, but I'm not totally sure. I'd read about this story on various blogs but had no idea who the "guitar player" was. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Tell the homo-hater that by his logic, God completely and totally HATES everyone in the god-fearing, "Christian" mid-West where he is currently punishing them for being Republicans by destroying their homes and livelihoods by flood - which we know he has done before as the Bible says so...

Anonymous said...

Thats me holding the gay flag in front of the creep. I believe he said something to that beautiful man with the guitar that caused his problem. all i have to say is that im positive karma will come back to him for his roll in that mans misfortune. steven.

Anonymous said...

"What is the Devil whispering in your ear about now?"

Best answer in hindsight: "Something about loudly protesting gay marriage..."

Anonymous said...

I think it's high time we started beating the shit out of these hater people when they show up trying to school us. There are enough straight people on our side who wouldn't take that shit either. Violence may not be the answer, but sitting around acting like victims isn't exactly doing it either.

Anonymous said...

And the study says- homophobes are in the closet. Sad but true.