While customers in a Washington, D.C. restaurant watched, cheered and filmed, drag performer Heidi Glüm sustained multiple injuries during a violent and bloody attack on June 22 which the victim described as "really petty drunk girl nonsense that escalated into insanity."
Glüm, whose real name is Miles DeNiro, told Queerty that female patrons of Manny & Olgas, a popular D.C. pizzeria, approached him and made derogatory comments about his makeup and shoes....
Where was the restaurant staff during the melee? DeNiro told Queerty they remained behind the counter working and ignored the fight. In the video one employee appeared to push his way past the throng of onlookers to carry on with his delivery duties. Equally disturbing is the glee with which the restaurants patrons watched and even encouraged the fight. Some pulled out smart phones to film the fracas and one repeatedly yells "World Star," a hip-hop-oriented website to which he uploaded the video with the pejorative “tranny” used in the title, rather than trying to break it up. DeNiro said he believes the two men who actually tried to stop the fight rushed in from outside the restaurant.
A concerned woman sent me a link to the video at 5:30 pm yesterday. I saw it an hour later and forwarded it to the Metropolitan Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, along with contact info for the victim that the woman sent me. The police only learned about it from me, though apparently some people had been talking about it online all day.
The disturbing video (in which the videographer cheers on the attackers) was removed from YouTube for its offensive content, but it surfaced on a hip-hop website. Such videos of bias-fueled attacks serve as accelerants for some people, which is why I did not post the video and am glad Queerty only posted a still photo. The police are in touch with the victim. The video should help them apprehend the assailants. This was in Manny & Olgas, a pizza shop on 14th Street NW that is open late.
Queerty also shows a racist comment that DeNiro tweeted after the incident, as well as DeNiro's subsequent apology for it. Oy, what a mess. We can do better than this.
Update: It occurs to me, perhaps we should start a media campaign titled, "We Can Do Better."
Update 2: Metro Weekly reports.