DC Drag Queen Heidi Glum beaten in pizza place while bystanders cheer

I hate having to post this today. I kind of wanted to revel in my happiness over Prop 8 and DOMA being stricken down. I wanted to spend the day listening to the OBC Rent Soundtrack and being happy about how much things have changed. It sucks to be reminded that we still have a long way to go, and that people still kind of suck.

This past Sunday around 2am, Miles DeNiro, age 24, was severely beaten by two girls at Manny and Olga’s, a pizza joint, after performing as Heidi Glum at the Black Cat night club in Washington, DC. Instead of helping her, some idiot bystanders stood there, filmed it, and whooped it up the whole time.

It all started after DeNiro had ordered his food, and one of the girls approached him to tell him he should do a better job blending his make-up and started touching his face. He asked her to stop touching his face, at which point, the girl’s friend came up and started calling him tranny and faggot. The situation escalated after the girl slapped him the face twice, and DeNiro reacted by spitting in her face.

The video below is extremely disturbing and graphic. It is made all the worse by the idiot who filmed it yelling “Wooo! Worldstar!” (the website to which the video was later uploaded) and acting as though it’s just the most hilarious thing that ever happened.

Although the place was packed with employees and other customers, no one did anything to break up the fight until two men came in off the street and pulled the two girls off. DiNiro was bloody from having had his head smashed in the ground.

DiNiro was driven home by two friends, and did not report the incident until early Monday morning– by which time, video of the incident had already spread on the internet, and Sgt. Matt Mahl, supervisor of the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit had been notified. DC Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Disappointingly, however, when DeNiro went home, he posted two messages about the incident on Twitter– which contained some gross racial epithets. Ugh. He has since apologized:

Via The Washington Blade:

“I was angry. I was irritated,” DeNiro told the Blade. “I said some things that I of course regret. I can’t change the past but I can only move forward and learn from this to become a better person.”

Does this behavior after the fact change what was clearly a disgusting act of anti-gay violence? No. Does it make it OK that some assholes thought this was just ever so hilarious? Nope. Does the incident excuse DeNiro’s use of racial slurs? Nope. These are just a bunch of separate, ugly, disappointing things.

I’m disappointed that I haven’t seen much about this anywhere. In fact, the way I heard about it was through my friends Pandora Boxx and Sissy Spastik, both of whom– I believe– are acquaintances of the victim. It hasn’t been reported on any of the progressive sites I regularly follow (other than Queerty). Even though strides are being made, this kind of thing needs to be reported– particularly because there are many people in government who do not believe that incidents like this one should be classified as a hate crime. Or even that hate crimes exist/should be punished more severely than crimes not motivated by prejudice.