What If It Turns Out Empire State Building Shooter Jeffrey Johnson Was Gay?

What you’re about to read is (mostly) conjecture and traffics in stereotypes. If you’re offended or confused by that, well, we have a slideshow of boys frolicking poolside you can check out.

When we heard someone had started firing their pistol outside the Empire State Building, just 12 blocks from where literary masterpieces pour forth from our fingers, we first thought it was  a psychotic on a shooting spree. (After all, terrorists usually prefer bombs.)

But when we heard that the man who walked up and killed his ex-boss in cold blood this morning worked in fashion—and the papers didn’t mention a wife—our mind went to a whole different place: What if the gunman was gay?

There hasn’t been any concrete evidence Jeffrey Johnson, 58, was a homosexual—no lover, friends or bartender have stepped forward. But when you grew up, like we did, seeing gay people reduced to short-hand stereotypes—fiftysomething, unmarried, designed women’s accessories—your thoughts just drift in a certain direction.  Local outlets even referred to Johnson with baited terms like “slight-framed,” and “subdued.”

And, well, he owned a cat. (We told you this wasn’t going to be politically correct.)

Chatting with our best girlfriend, who lives a stone’s throw from the ESB on 30th and Park, we found he had the same thought: “People will think it’s the start of a gay shooting-spree epidemic!”

Never mind that Johnson only shot one person, his boss. (The rest of the bullets were fired by trigger-happy members of the NYPD).

Of course, it’s not really about whether Johnson was gay or not—is certainly doesn’t matter to the family of his victim, Steve Ercolino. It’s about how, if he was, his sexuality will be used to drive the narrative. If Johnson was indeed a fiend of Dorothy, will that give fuel to the FRC and their ilk, who can now brand us as violent in addition to crazy and evil? Or might it make them think twice about pissing off an angry queen?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Photos: MySpace, jonraewan