For now, the only refuge for gay people is in a nondescript building on the outskirts of downtown. Project Wow, as it is called, is a no-frills drop-in center run by the North Jersey Community Research Initiative, an organization that devotes most of its resources to research on AIDS drugs and free medical care. Project Wow draws a few dozen young people each night who come for counseling and H.I.V. prevention advice but mostly for the camaraderie and shelter from the city’s unsympathetic streets.
Alex Williams, Project Wow’s director, asked that the center’s location not be printed, noting that 15 of the center’s employees and clients had been attacked on their way to or from the building in the last six months.
Sitting in the lounge at the center, Tariq Pickens, 23, recalled how he and a friend dressed in drag were ambushed on the street by a group of men and women three years ago. During a few hellish moments, he said, they were slashed, punched, robbed and doused with lighter fluid, although the fuel failed to ignite. “I’ve had so many friends killed, beaten, raped, I can’t even count,” he said.
I've got a nice berm out back that I use as a backstop for target practice. When you can shoot the top of a beer bottle off with a .40 at fifty feet, I guess you're doing okay.
In Vermont --where police coverage can be thin-- a landowner will mark his territory by being quite visible about his target practice. However Johnny Dirty-Foot may feel about the queers, he will quickly check his bravery upon hearing frequent shotgun blasts and rifle shots coming from your property.
It's like an invisible fence. Displaying one's professional training in the moral and technical use of firearms keeps everyone on their best behavior.