The Brutal Brooklyn Gay Bashing Of Barie Shortell

At left is what Williamsburg resident Barie Shortell usually looks like. At right is what he looked like after his Feb. 22 neighborhood gay bashing, which left him with a broken nose, jaw, eye sockets, and facial bones — and 9.5 hours of corrective surgery. Shortell, writes a friend, was “attacked and on the way home one evening. He was not robbed, but the people attacking him did mock him with anti-gay taunts before they attacked him…breaking his nose, jaw and eye socket. The attack has been deemed a hate crime.” Shortell, like millions of Americans, does not have health insurance, which means he’s on the hook for the nightmarish hospital bill, so some friends have organized a fundraiser (called, ahem, “The Gay Bash”) for him next Wednesday in Brooklyn. Normally we don’t post about every local community’s efforts to raise cash (the task would prove impossible), but HOLY FUCK THIS IS JUST RIDICULOUS, and it is a sad world when the best we can say after an attack like Barrie’s is that “at least” it didn’t turn into this.

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  • andy

    Thanks for Publishing this. I didn’t even hear about this until now. Queerty should have a page where you list all the bashings that happen across the country.

  • justiceontherocks

    Count me in for this fund raiser.

    Violence to counter violence usually accomplishes nothing. But these beatings are far too frequent. I wonder if the criminals would be so anxious to “beat up a fag” if they thought they might leave the scene with a lot of teeth missing.

  • tallskin2

    “Shortell, like millions of Americans, does not have health insurance”

    I am in the UK. Are you telling me that if you’re attacked on the streets in the USA that YOU have to pick up the bill for the subsequent medical treatment??

    That’s not civilised, let alone just.

    What a bizarre society.

  • The sane Francis

    So tragic. Just a guy walking home and having to endure this. According to what I read, Barie was walking late at night, and, you guessed it, thugged out wanna-be tough guys attacked him. I agree Justice, the only way these thugs will get the message is by knocking them upside their head. These savages only understand violence. Generally, it’s the SAME profile of people committing the SAME violent acts against us. Usually young, hyper-masculine, a majority of the time they are thugged/drugged out and/or have a criminal record. Why isn’t there enough being done to target these groups? Even in a town known for hipsters you have thugs walking the streets preying on gays to beat? That needs to change immediately and more outreach and awareness is needed to fight this problem.

  • Soupy

    It is so disturbing and effective to show his lovely smiling face next to the brutality visited upon him. I will check out the site to fundraise. It just seems so ridiculous that he has to pay for this. If you don’t want universal healthcare, wouldn’t it be more fair to make they people who did this to him pay?

  • The sane Francis

    True, Soupy. Having to pay the medical bills of an unwarranted unprovoked attack against you is barbaric. The attacks definitely should be the ones paying.

    Again, it’s time for us as a community to address the problems. Religious fundamentalists, ignorant backwater types and young thugs are the main 3 people causing our community the biggest issues. We need to attack them as much as they attack us and even more, but in our case, we need to attack them with outreach, facts, and personal testimonies and evidence. We need to do our parts to enlighten these more vulnerable areas. This needs to change now.

  • Jeff K.

    This is why we need to start carrying guns.

    If you can’t fight back, ventilate their parietal lobes.

  • Akula

    Jeff K hit it right on the head I can’t imagine these shit bags going around picking on people if there was a good chance that one or all of them could end up with a .45 slug passing through the emptiness between their ears.

  • RomanHans

    Jeff K, I’d agree with you, but in New York if you’re caught with a weapon there’s a three-year mandatory jail sentence. Even famous athletes caught with guns are given this sentence, so no angry gay is ever going to dodge it.

  • Franky

    Jeff. If you guys all had a right to carry guns then they would also have a right to carry a gun and chances are this man would be dead instead of beaten. I say you guys cus I’m Canadian.

  • Oprah

    If i lived in “Brooklyn” i would carry a gun for the heck of it. Gay queens– “Man UP”. LOL

  • The sane Francis

    The whole “I’m going to just kill the killers” mentality won’t get anyone far. First of all, homophobes almost always run in packs because they are almost always younger punks with masculinity issues, many times have no parents, and are angry at the world and disaffected. They are insecure bitches, that’s what they do, we all have heard the countless stories of these bitches crying or pleading forgiveness when getting convicted of their crimes, or coming out of the closet later in life. Secondly, as RomanHans put it, there are more restrictive gun laws in many states. Regardless, most of these bitches have weapons. And, it’s not like you can shoot all of them at once. You kill one, there is another one behind you. And now the criticism is on you, because you killed a kid and unless you can prove it was unavoidable, you would be the one in trouble. Thirdly, if you do get away with killing one of these kids, their family most of the time back them up not even aware of the fact their sons and daughters are animals, so therefore you will almost assuredly have problems with them, and friends of the animals’ families. Again, most of these hate crimes are committed by lower-class, hyper-masculine, insecure young kids or ignorant backwater mentally brainwashed losers. Killing a few of them won’t do anything to solve the inherent problem. However, education, outreach and rehabilitation can.

  • justiceontherocks

    @The sane Francis: Those are all good points. But I believe that one reason they pull this shit so often is that they don’t even consider the possibility that the guy will fight back. Or may have friends watching. If they weren’t sure they had a free ride, there might be less bashings.

  • Jeff K.

    Neither I nor anyone else in my place would care about “education, rehabilitation, or outreach” when a thug with a baseball bat is coming after me. I don’t like guns and I wish we had much stronger gun laws in this country leading up to a nationwide ban, but unfortunately we have something called the second amendment which would make banning guns impossible, not to mention a gun lobby with excessive political power.

    So carrying a gun for protection in the U.S. is merely the most effective way to protect oneself in our degenerate society.

  • Ky

    In all 5 boroughs of NYC, if you are the victim of any crime that results in physical injury, The Crime Victims Board will pay your medical expenses and any needed counseling.

  • The sane Francis

    I agree Justice in that these kids do these things because they pick on someone they consider weak and vulnerable and who can’t defend themselves. However, the true problem is why kids end up being so animalistic in the first place. Killing these brats will not change anything. Actually, it more than likely will embolden them, as they will actually in their eyes have a justification to be hateful. Preventing disaffected youth is what needs to be addressed, and the communities where most of the hate crime attackers tend to come from need to be cleansed. We have to fix the source of the problem, because you put down one, there are 20 of their “boys” and people in their community who are right behind them.

  • The sane Francis

    When someone is coming after you, all bets are off. If someone has a bat or a gun, then totally, you do what you need to do to save yourself. If you are walking late at night in the ghetto of Brooklyn, or Detroit as we saw in the bashing yesterday, having a weapon on you is understandable However, that shouldn’t be and isn’t a final solution. The final solution is preventing that situation from ever happening. And the way that happens is not letting people get to the point where they become so disaffected they lose all sense of humanity.

  • TheRealAdam

    I just think it’s funny how the vast majority of these bashings happen in NYC. You never hear of this happening in L.A. And NYC is supposed to be SO gay-friendly…I guess that only applies to Manhattan.

  • Kev C

    @Ky: Additionally, he may be qualified for SSI. Get well soon, Barie.

  • T.

    @KY exactly you can look here: for more information on the Crime Victims Board. It worked for a friend who was mugged in NY and my sister was attacked in Nevada and theirs helped out as well. It take a lot of paperwork, obviously, but they can help.

    I’m sorry this happened, truly awful.

  • Codswallop

    Jesus, Queerty! Would you feed the friggin’ hamsters that apparently power your server!

  • Paul A

    Time for single-payer healthcare.

  • Soupy

    Nice thought, Paul, but it won’t happen as long as a single republican is alive. As Ron Paul says, healthcare is a privilege, not a right. If you can afford it, you can get it.

  • The sane Francis

    Adam, NYC, having been born there, is a gay friendly place, at particular locations. Not all of LA is gay friendly. Not all of Seattle is gay friendly. Not all of Atlanta is gay friendly. Just because a place is not completely gay positive does that make that particular city bigoted. It means there are bad apples spoiling the bunch. In NYC’s case, it’s a huge city, extremely diverse, very jampacked, and almost all of the hate crimes, and really most of the crimes in general, are done by low-life, poor, street thugs. Many times these guys are in gangs, a majority are on drugs, most have no real families, they are insecure in their masculinity, they have nothing to live for and are angry at the world. The overwhelming majority are from the hood slums. So, you’re safety in NYC is largely dependent on where you go, when you’re out, and who you see. Because if you run into the wrong crowd of disaffected youth, this happens.

  • JumpingUp

    TheRealAdam : Manhattan has had gay-bashings too, over the last year. But NYC is dangerous, period. It’s a rough city. Didn’t everyone learn that in kindergarten? I’ve been here all my life and been directly involved in violent confrontations, both gay-related and otherwise. And the African-American and (frequently) Latino gangstas are very homophobic.

  • Oh Boy

    TheRealAdam: I have lived in NYC most of my life, including Williamsburg. And I lived in Los Angeles for a few years. In West Hollywood there was a group of thugs driving around in a van and beating the daylights out of gay guys with baseball bats.

    Yes, New York City is home to millions and violence happens there. But it is no where near the top of violent cities. And we have read about plenty of bashings in the South and Midwest and in California. They happen everywhere.

    This is not about city versus city. It is a universal problem.

  • The sane Francis

    Oh Boy is very right, and the fact is in these bigger cities, that means there are MORE violent/homophobic/stupid people as well as more gays, more enlightened people, more young people etc. So it’s not as if you move to LA, you will avoid stupidity. And again, New York City in general is not a homophobic area. Neither is LA. But there is stupidity everywhere, and it’s not as if the stupids can’t travel, and they usually do, intentionally, to cause problems. You don’t have to be gay to deal with this. That includes San Fran, WEHO, Provincetown. In cities as big as NYC, you are going to have some problems and clashes between different groups. That shouldn’t be a determining factor of how the entire city behaves. Most of it is about avoiding areas and people you know are the main drama starters, and if you do that, you probably be fine. There is not one area in the world that is nor will ever be 100% safe.

  • B

    No. 3 · tallskin2 “I am in the UK. Are you telling me that if you’re attacked on the streets in the USA that YOU have to pick up the bill for the subsequent medical treatment?? That’s not civilised, let alone just. What a bizarre society.”

    What actually happens is that, if you have health insurance, you are covered, and most large companies provide it. If you are unemployed, marginally employed, or working for a very small business that can’t pay for it and you don’t get coverage yourself, you lose. The hospitals sort of have to treat you regardless on an emergency basis, even if you don’t have insurance, but will try to collect (and will get little or nothing if the person is really too poor to pay). Meanwhile the insurance industry uses its clout to force the hospitals to give them preferential rates, so to make up the difference, the people who get royally screwed are the lower middle class – to poor to afford a good insurance policy but not so poor that they can’t pay enough to be bankrupted.

    In addition people with low-income jobs sometimes decide they would rather have food on the table today rather than health insurance coverage for what seems like an unlikely event, so they try to squeak by and the insurance industry tries to insure people who they think really don’t need it. All the game playing results in massive amounts of paper work and bickering (it helps to be so rich that you can afford a lawyer on retainer to deal with the insurance company if they try to be unreasonable).

    The Democrats have tried to fix it, but the insurance industry lobbies against that and the pro-business Republican Party generally goes along with what large corporations want. So the average U.S. citizen frequently gets screwed. Meanwhile our politicians, who have to raise lots of money to get elected, are beholden to the people who fund them, generally people who have a lot of money.

    The results of this system are appalling, but the average voter is clueless about what is going on, so the situation persists. In spite of the limited reforms Obama managed to get through, the Republicans are doing their best to undo those.

    In some ways, it really sucks to be an American citizen, but if you point out the problems, some people get defensive and tell you to move to another country, the sort of reaction guaranteed to make it nearly impossible for anything to improve.

  • swarm

    Having been raised in Brooklyn I’m sure Gaga will be showing up any minute to help Barie. I think I read she claims she still has a residence there? Just sayin…eyeroll.

    @28 B – “The Democrats have tried to fix it, but the insurance industry lobbies against that and the pro-business Republican Party generally goes along with what large corporations want.”

    Not true at all. The Democrats’ Healthcare bill was written from day one in concert with the healthcare and insurance industry. Which is one of the major complaints of Liberal/Progressives. The Republicans had nothing to do with that aspect whatsoever. (not saying they wouldn’t have, but your impression is inaccurate)

  • greg


    actually, it is quite civilized if you think of western ‘civilization’ as the product of the unrestrained exploitation of the masses to benefit the few. but yes i was the victim of a hit and run, they found the second car (but sadly not the first) and i won a judgment in court, but my lawyer said the people had no insurance and were too poor to pay. which was fine, whatever if you cant pay you cant pay, but when i asked him to ask the judge to give the driver of the car community service hours, he said that wasnt possible either. so in the end i got stuck with the bills which i am still paying off.

  • Robbie in the UK

    I’m absolutely appalled at this… gay or straight aside how could anyone do this to another human being? My only conclusion is that the people that attacked Barie are not.

    And I am in complete agreement with TallSkin2, I am in the UK too and I cannot believe that Barie has to pay for his own treatment, shouldn’t the bill be picked up by the animals that inflicted it on him? If they can’t pay it then their salary should be docked a percentage to assist in the repayment of them at the very least.

    I wish Barie a speedy recovery, I have no idea how much the final bill for the treatment will be, but I hope my donation helps.

  • common sense

    If you are walking through brooklyn how about you just act hetrosexual? its not like it would kill you to act normal for a couple of blocks?

    No sympathy for this idiot, when i walk through say harlem i don’t walk through it wearing a kkk outfit, in the same way that if i’m going through the bible belt i wouldn’t go through it wearing an I love the devil t-shirt.

    Most of these attacks could be avoided if these people would use a bit of cultural sensitivity, all in all he probably provoked this attack by his actions…and if he didn’t, well then it isn’t a hate attack at all it was just a beat down!

  • TheRealAdam

    @common sense: Obvious troll is obvious.

  • Kev C

    @common sense: If you are walking through a gay blog, how about you just act gay? It’s not like it would kill you to act gay for a couple of minutes.

  • Mikey C

    He does make a good point though, troll or no troll…he should have just kept his head down! he would have probably avoided the situation.

    Sure the fact he got a beating wasn’t very nice…but if i have to walk down say a dark alley to reach where i’ve parked or i can take a longer route that is brightly lit / busier i always take the safe option.

  • Soupy

    Oprah, as a self indentified 14 year old girl, I don’t think that your opinion is relevant.

    What exactly do you think that victim was doing. Was he “swishing” down the street yelling I’m gay and I want to suck gang banger dicks?

  • Shannon1981

    Just published this on Facebook. Thanks for posting Queerty. This is beyond disturbing. Thugs need a taste of their own medicine. I am not usually a violent person, but if I run up on these clowns, their gonna get a boot up their asses.

  • Paul Pedophile

    I wish I could clean the shit stains from ever boys crappy diaper! I’m a proud faggot with AIDS and I look forward to getting my “norMl” on by “marrying” some other sick faggot!!

    I hope we all die along of the NEW GAY AIDS PLAGUE…CAUSE WE DESERVE IT AS FAGGOTS!!!!!!!

    Goodnight my fellow faggots!!!!!!!!!

  • David Gervais

    About common sense’s comment:
    Toronto, Vancouver, and the citizens of many other cities in the world have just had a similar discussion provoked by the Slut Walks. The entire point is that a person should be able to walk down the street in their ordinary way without being assaulted.

  • Joshua Ludd

    Well, rather than rant about the obvious… how terrible, idiotic, and vile something like this is, I will instead say that at least it wasn’t any worse. Its horrific, but it could easily have been far far worse, and I am glad it wasn’t.

Comments are closed.