A different sort of post than the previous ones here: on February 17, 2005, New York City transit workers discovered the body parts of a beautiful 19-year-old Bushwick native, Rashawn Brazell, in a subway tunnel in Brooklyn. In subsequent weeks police investigators found more evidence of Brazell's grisly murder, and now are supposedly engaged in an active investigation. (The print and TV media, according to at least one news source, has stopped focusing on Brazell's death.) I was back at home in the New York area with my partner C. the night the news about Rashawn Brazell's murder initially broke, and I felt an immediate sense of grief and loss that lingers on.
Other bloggers, including destiny's bastard, anzidesign, and stevengfullwood have posted moving statements about him, and about their own feelings of anger, sorrow, loss. He has been discussed as if he were a piece of...meat. One news account, on a gay Website, has screwed up the date he disappeared. His mother has stated that "he had girlfriends" in response to the news that he had a boyfriend--that he loved men. And I worry that the police inquiry into his death might wane or dwindle or not be taken as seriously as if a white or straight (or straight white) person were found under similar circumstances. This post, then, is an additional memorial, and memento mori, and little beacon, on his behalf. I pray that they find his killer swiftly, before another person, another brother, another gay person (cf. Nubian Knight, a black member of the NY-area leather community also brutally slain in Brooklyn, about whom planetblack posted a year ago, or Sakia Gunn, stabbed to death in Newark when she refused the advances of a straight man), suffers this fate, of literal and symbolic dis-memberment. I also want to re-member this young man I never met, and again say the name the media is already forgetting, his name, y/our name: Rashawn Brazell.