Radical Faerie Beaten To Death In San Francisco, Friends Around The Country Gather To Honor His Life

More than 100 people gathered at 3:33 p.m. in San Francisco’s Duboce Park yesterday to remember their friend, 31-year-old Bryan Higgins (pictured), known among his community as “Feather Lynn.”

Higgins was a member of the Radical Faerie community, a gay men’s counterculture movement and spiritual organization dedicated to spreading messages of peace and love. He was found savagely beaten and unconscious near Duboce and Church streets at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

He was taken SF General with serious injuries but no identification. Authorities put out a call to local media, hoping to learn his identity. Higgins’ neighbor, Brian Busta, helped identify the man at the hospital on Monday.

Police say they are now considering Higgins’ death an attempted homicide via assault with a deadly weapon, though they have not yet been able to locate his attacker.

Yesterday’s ceremony is a custom of the Radical Faeries. The group of people joined hands in a circle and shared a moment of silence around an altar of candles, flowers, and bowl of smoking incense. It was timed with the exact moment Higgins was taken off life support.

Across the country, a second ceremony was held at Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo, MI, where Higgins was originally from. More than 75 people gathered at the park to celebrate his life by releasing colorful balloons into the sky.

“He was more than just a great human being, one in a million, he was an incredible man,” Higgins’ uncle, Steve Horton, told media. “Through all of this I hope we can learn love is the answer.”

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  • IcarusD

    So heart-breakingly sad. I’ve been following the story since they first started posting “John Doe” pictures hoping someone could identify him. I didn’t know him, but I have many friends who did. Such a tragic, senseless thing. I’ve been in San Francisco for generations (well, my family has), and in the Castro for 10 years. The parties have gotten more dangerous over the last decade, and in the last few years there’s a violent, dangerous element moving in with weapons and poorly-treated, poorly-trained, aggressive dogs. Going home at night is scary.

    My heart breaks for this man’s husband, family, and friends.

  • StuC777

    I have only been to one Faerie event, and I found the people to be wonderful. I hope they catch whoever did this. Nobody deserves to be treated so brutally, least of all such a gentle person.

  • SportGuy

    So sad! I hope they find who is responsible for this.

  • vive

    Very sad story. “Attempted” homicide, though? That can’t be right – would the police call it that if the victim were, say, a child killed in the same way?

  • mjmarkic

    Truly Awful! I lived on Duboce for over 20 years, I had to move back to Cleveland, OH due to my fathers’ ill health. News like this really is so upsetting! Will humans ever really discover that kindness is a virtue and everyone is entitled.

    I Still miss my days in S.F. the perpetrator needs to be caught and severely punished. Rest in Peace, “Feather Lynn”, God Bless You!

  • J T Eilers

    We were disappointed that during the recent Pride Day, a group of lesbians were attacked, and one of the Sisters of Perpetual INdulgence. Someone found that surprising, given the recent progressive changes for LGBTQI citizens. I said, “Maybe is last ditch reaction: Before they have equal rights, this may be our last chance to kill another queer.” I am sorry that I could forecast a murder. I am afraid that we have another beautiful life to record in gay Book of Saints. Gays and Black people remain the Palestinians of the U.S.

  • TampaBayTed

    Sweet Bryan. You did not deserve this horrible end. I’m all for peace and love and kindness, but I hope the mother fuckers who did this wind up in the bottom ring of Hell.

  • sspvenice

    @J T Eilers: Unfortunately, with every step we take forward towards equality there will be those who are threatened and who will strike out against those who are not like them. Bryan I wish you well as you continue your journey, rest in peace.

  • DeeJayMiles

    this happened in SF? I am shocked.

  • Ogre Magi

    So any ideas who did it?

  • jimontp

    Terrible headline for a tragedy. He wasn’t just a radical Faerie. He was a beautiful, young gay man who was filled with peace and love.
    And yes, these things happen in San Francisco, right in the Castro. But in SF, there is no real reporting on this murder, no great effort by the Police Department to make it public, and of course, nothing from our DA about hate crimes. The Castro attracts thugs at night. Equality isn’t always about gay marriage.

  • LadyL

    An outrage and a terrible tragedy. Bryan Higgins, and his grieving family and friends, are all in my prayers.
    As gay marriage and gay rights progress, the haters have become more frustrated, enraged, and vicious in their attempts to turn back the tide. What was it historian-author Vito Russo said? “A bigot is someone who resents losing control of a world he thought belonged to him.”
    Bryan, rest in peace.

  • jaybeebrad

    @vive: I’m also confused. If he was attacked and died as a result of his injuries, why is it not just homicide? I know it may seem crass to discuss such facts in the light of the emotional weight of the loss, but it’s important that the truth prevail as a path to justice, and this doesn’t feel just. :(

  • Kevin B

    @vive: I would imagine they made that statement before he was taken off of life support. They’ll almost certainly upgrade it to homicide after the autopsy confirms cause of death.

  • Billy Budd

    Horrible. I am against the death penalty, but I don’t react rationally to this kind of injustice. I wish the killers were dead.

  • barkomatic

    This is upsetting on so many levels. I can’t understand the hate that would motivate someone to do this to a peaceful sweet guy. I hope Bryan is in a better place.

  • Scribe38

    R.I.P brother. I wish you a safe journey to the next realm and the peace you were denied at the end of this one.

  • Fates_Fury

    If a death occurs as a result of the commission of a felony, it’s either first-degree or capital murder. Fuck those cops. This has been your legal lesson of the day.

    R.I.P, sweetie. The world needs a million more like you.

  • lykeitiz

    @IcarusD: I’ve only been to SF once, and it was probably 10 years ago, but the trip is burned in my mind like it was yesterday. Out of all of my life’s travels, your city has been my favorite.

    How sad to hear that the Castro is in such a state of decline. I truly hope the tides turn for you there. Not only is it a stunningly beautiful place, but it’s an extremely important part of our history.

    How horrible that this young man couldn’t roam freely in his home town.

  • Leonard Woodrow

    Tragic! Catch this demented murderer and lock him up for life.

  • gaym50ish

    Maybe it’s time to form a group like the red-beret-wearing Guardian Angels of New York to patrol the Castro. They are not armed, but they are young and tough, and they receive free martial-arts training before they’re sent on patrols. They are a welcome sight in many New York neighborhoods.

    I’ll bet there are many young buff gay boys in San Francisco who would volunteer.

  • jd2222248

    Sending prayers to his family and friends! :-)

  • montanom

    After I held my hommage under the rain in Montréal, I came back to my apartment, and found a feather on the floor. I am bringing this feather to Feather’s memorial at the Temple in Black Rock City (Burning Man). Can I ask each one to bring a feather? Or give it to someone heading in that direction? A last tribute to Feather will be full of feathers. I am missing you so much already, Dear Friend Feather. ~Miracle

  • Z neth

    I have a feather that has lived in the Garuda image that protects my home and one golden feather that is especially fey gay and fabulous that should accompany your journey to the Black Rock City Temple. We have meet under the circus tent at Lammas this year and I would like you to seek out Summer for my contact information. Summer is in Montreal right now I believe. I may be able to get in touch with Blue Sky to mail these feathers to you in time as well-as I will not be coming to Montreal from Vermont. I did not know Feather but I do know our community and the AMAZING we each try to bring into it and into the world.

  • Paco

    @J T Eilers: Unfortunately, social acceptance can’t be legislated and takes many generations to be fully realized. That is why we must never stop fighting for our dignity, no matter how many laws get passed allowing us legal protections.

  • Sebizzar

    I will never understand what can drive someone to hurt a knowingly innocent person. This really breaks my heart! Rest in peace Bryan :'(

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