NCAVP mourns the death of Ariel Gonzalez, who was found dead in his apartment on September 13, 2017, following Hurricane Irma. According to media reports, 50-year-old Gonzalez was brutally murdered on September 10th, by Travis Watson and Jacob Mitchell, after Gonzalez had invited the couple into his home to hook up. Though little is known about the motive of the killing, robbery and jealousy were two factors, according to media reports. Watson is currently in custody, and police are searching for Mitchell.
We mourn the loss of Ariel Gonzalez, and send love and care to his friends and loved ones. Though not often discussed, gay and bisexual men experience intimate partner violence at similar if not higher rates as men who identify as heterosexual. As a community, and as a society, we must talk about LGBTQ IPV before it escalates, and raise up the experiences of queer, gay, bisexual and transgender men who are often left out of the conversations about this violence. We must also talk about hook-up violence, a form of violence that we need to address in our LGBTQ communities. So far in 2017 we have seen an increase in pick-up homicides, and we need awareness raising about this form of violence, affirming messages around sex, sexuality and safety, and safe spaces for our communities to meet and hook up.
In memory of Ariel Gonzalez.
NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.