THANKS A LOT
CT: Did you have much sense of how much the gay world was changing during those years?
Some of my gay friends sent me different magazines and different stuff that covered gay topics. And it’s sad to say that, you know, the gay community as a whole did not show all that much support. And I think it’s because the topic with gay men and child molestation is still very scary for the gay community. It’s something that they don’t want to touch. So a lot of the gay papers would not cover it, because it wasn’t the political thing to do, the friendly thing to do. So I think when one underprivileged part of society starts feeling like they’ve moved up the ladder a little bit but won’t deal with tougher topics, they’re only failing themselves. Because, you know, a lot of the magazines wanted to do the fluff stuff. The Advocate wanted to do, you know, the movie review instead of … so, in a lot of ways I think that the gay community has really strived. But I think when it comes to tough things, they shy away.
MB: Did you get any support from gay legal groups?
None. We asked a lot of them, and they would not touch this case. And, you know, I don’t know of any groups — blacks, gays, Spanish, whites — who’ve ever gotten over anything by not touching a topic. As long as the gay community does those types of things, they’ll still be divided, and it weakens the gay community. It’s sad to me. My theory on that is, because gay men and women have been beat down, they know that hatred, so they’re scared of it. And when the church scandal was going on; I don’t think that situation helped. You know, saying that it was gay priests. It wasn’t gay priests, it was pedophiles. That’s a simple, hard fact. A lot of people just, unfortunately, believe what they read. So, I’ve been a little disappointed in the gay community. Some of their own people are suffering.
CT: Do you think the general brutality of prison life was worse for you as a gay man, more persistent?
Oh, most definitely. Life inside is different than outside — there is a concrete set of rules. You have a row of the guys that are at the top of the chain, and then you have the guys that are at the bottom. Child molesters are at the bottom. To be a homosexual child molester, you are the lowest of the low. You are at the bottom for everybody to take a shot at. I’ve been beat up a lot, and I fought back sometimes. I don’t think people understand how tough and how lonely it can be. When you hear that door lock, you gotta go in at 9:30 at night and all you have is you. You know. (Laughs) No matter how much support and how much love you get [from the outside], you still have to have you, because it’s not going to be enough when that door locks.