New York’s Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization leader Tarlach MacNiallais says he took a beating over the weekend from bouncers at a nightclub in Queens who spotted him dancing with his partner of seven years Juan — and now he’s explaining exactly what happened.
(For the record, Tarlach, pictured here in 1994, is “leery of the sensational press coverage of the story to date and particularly objects to his description as a gay activist,” reports IrishCentral.com.)
They thought they were going to an open mic night at Guadalajara De Noche, but when they arrived the restaurant/bar had a club night going. So the pair, who were accompanied by four of Juan’s brothers, stayed — and when a song came on that Tarlach liked, he grabbed Juan to hit the dance floor. But before they could move their hips, they were interrupted by an employee who said they couldn’t do that there. And then the violence started.
“I turned around and said, ‘We have as much right to dance as anyone else.’”
Immediately, MacNiallais was yanked from behind. He was thrown against a wall and then punched repeatedly on the face and chest.
“They knocked me to the ground. They started kicking me. They were shouting ‘this is not a gay bar’ over and over. I didn’t fight back because I’m not a violent person. But I did think I wasn’t going to let them throw me out. I did have a right to be there. If they had asked me to leave I would have, but they didn’t do that. Instead they beat me and physically dragged me to the ground.”
Apparently, it was a jolly good time for the assailants:
According to MacNiallais, the two employees were laughing as they assaulted him. One of them stomped on MacNiallais’ head with his foot, then picked up a chair and hit him, again on the head. Two of MacNiallais’ partner’s brothers stood up and persuaded other customers not to join in the assault.
The good news? There’s evidence!
“One of my partner’s brothers recorded what happened on his cell phone, and on the audio you can hear me saying ‘I have a right to dance with my partner, this isn’t fair and then no, no, no.’”