December 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Artist arrested for indecent exposure
Qween Amor, gay news, Washington Blade

Qween Amor (Photo by Kory Otto Jacobs)

A gay performance artist who goes by the name Qween Amor says he believes D.C. police officers sided with an anti-gay group when they arrested him while dancing on the sidewalk in Chinatown on Dec. 14 on a charge of indecent exposure.

He said police arrived on the scene after he began dancing in front of members of the Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge, a religious sect that denounces homosexuality and which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a hate group.

Amor said people on the scene told him members the group, who were preaching from a microphone hooked up to a speaker, called the police to complain about his “immoral” dancing.

A police incident report says Amor “was viewed with his penis exposed through a hole in his pants” by police officers as he was “gyrating” in front of a group of onlookers.

Amor, who said he prefers not to be identified by his birth name, told the Blade he was unaware that a small split developed on the bottom seam of the pants he was wearing as he danced to music he played from speakers attached to his iPod.

“I would never do something like that,” he said. “I didn’t know the hole was there. I would have covered it immediately.”

He said his intent was to peacefully confront the members of the religious group.

“They were preaching hate,” he said. “I felt if I have to listen to them denigrate people I love I would do something. So I decided to dance in front of them.”

His dancing and his arrest were captured on video by an onlooker who posted the video on YouTube, which has attracted a large number of viewers. The hole in his pants cannot be seen in the video.

Amor must appear in court on Jan. 3.

He said he performs as part of his support of a national campaign called Love Music Hate Homophobia, which seeks to fight bigotry, intolerance, and injustice “using the power of art.”

He said he also performs regularly at the weekly Monday “open mic” night hosted by the 17th Street gay bar Cobalt.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • This is more solid Blade reporting … but unfortunately the most serious thing that was exposed was more MPD homophobia and hypocrisy.

    Throw the book again at the gay protester, of course, Chief Lanier. And “gyrating”??? Nothing prejudicial or negatively stereotypical about that, huh?

    — Chief Lanier, of roughly 170 violent anti-LGBT hate crimes in the last 5 years — how many has MPD failed to close WITH AN ARREST?
    — How many detectives’ hours were spent on those cases, Chief Lanier?
    — Who exactly is reviewing those MPD-closed case jackets to insure MPD’s due diligence on anti-LGBT hate crimes? You? The Mayor? The Council?
    — Chief, where is your long-promised force-wide LGBT sensitivity training? Webinars?
    — Chief, how many violent anti-LGBT hate crimes perpetrators do you guess will have to appear in court in 2013?
    — And to Council Judiciary Committee Chair-designate Tommy Wells…
    First, congrats! Secondly, where is serious Council oversight regarding MPD’s poor performance against anti-LGBT hate crimes? How will the Judiciary Committee address this kind of de facto MPD homophobia?

  • “Amor, who said he prefers not to be identified by his birth name”.

    How many times has this “courtesy” been extended to trans folk?… with exception to reporting by the Blade, not much nationally.

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