Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Christopher Skinner...One more song.

I am mad and sad and confused and in a state of disbelief. Mostly I am fucking angry. I was away from Toronto for a week without a TV so when I received a email message about "horrible news" this morning my heart began to beat faster.
I could not even guess at the utter blackness of that news.
Christopher Skinner, a young man who had become a friend of mine through my shows and through a mutual friend had been murdered.
I can't believe it as I spell it.
I am so fucking mad I could do something violent.
I left my house soon after I heard "the news" to go to an audition and every face I walked by looked guilty to me....guilty for not being sad and guilty for not understanding what had happened in the world...and just maybe guilty of the crime...guilty because the world keeps turning.
I found an article online at Xtra and posted it on my Facebook page and the outpouring of emotion was staggering...people cried and screamed and railed and wondered. It was reposted...it was spoken about by others...people talked about choices...others talked about not choosing...others still just poured out their hearts and minds.
People who didn't know him...now knew him...and for the worst possible reason.
I met Skinner for the first time, and he will always be Skinner to me because that is how we were introduced, at my show at the Gladstone. He sat right next to the stage and talked to me...onstage...all night...he was so thrilled to be there...and myself...always adoring a challenge and the love of a great audience member...was thrilled to have him. He is known by my constant supporters as the guy who always yelled out "One More Song!!!"...even after I had done three encores. How can you not love that? At my very last party in June at Buddies in Bad Times he yelled out his standard "One more song!"...and after two songs I had to call it...and then as I walked off the stage he was standing in front of me, smiling and he whispered right into my face..."I will always ask for one more song."
We were just in the process of becoming spin buddies and coffee talkers. They were just little normal things. But I still feel robbed. I can only imagine how his closest friends, his fiance and his family feel.
I received an email from a friend who works in the club district who informed me that the police were looking at their surveillance tapes and said... "I've dealt with the police on other things that have gone down in this neighbourhood and I've never seen them take anything as seriously as this."
It is a comfort.
Cold comfort.
Someone said that the police didn't know if it was a hate crime.
Is it a hate crime?....well, let me see...he was alone...he was beaten almost to death...and then run over by a car.
Yes, it was a hate crime.
It doesn't matter how he was created...or what his sexual orientation was...that is beyond the point.
He was now "horrible news"
There are people who are probably sitting in the comfort of a warm home, quite possibly with a loving family and living with the truth that they killed a stranger...another human being...someone who was alone and vulnerable to violence.
I hope that their black, black souls are rotting with that truth right now.


Allie said...

Sharon - thank you saying so many of the things I've been thinking.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore said...

Chris was a friend of mine also, and I share all of your feelings of rage, disgust, horror, and sadness. He was an amazing person with a beautiful zest for life. He was extremely funny, and bright, and creative. He loved to be around people, and this world is much, much darker without him shining today. Whether or not he was targeted as a gay man (though it appears that way), there is no doubt this was a hate crime of the most vicious kind. Leaving a person to die in the street.... unspeakable.
I wish this was not the horrible news I have been dealing with the past few days too. Hugs to you.