Local DJ attacked in possible gay bashing

Steven Lemmerman, who DJs under the name DJ Lemz, and his partner Stuart Parlier were walking home from a drag show at Baltimore Soundstage last night when they were attacked at the corner of Charles and Fayette streets.

"We were having a little fun walking back from the show," Lemmerman said in a phone interview this morning. "I was strutting and dancing in the crosswalk when this guy gunned his engine and tried to hit me. I tapped his hood with my palm and he rushed out of the car and went after Stuart first, which means to me that we were targeted for us for strutting across the crosswalk. I think he used the word 'faggot,' but it was such a blur."

The man, described by Lemmerman as being "light skinned" and driving a light "Creamsicle-colored" orange sports car, then went after the DJ. "He chased me for a bit as I tried to get away and started hitting me," he said. "It was a weird time when no one was around that usually busy intersection so I don't know of any witnesses." 

After hitting Lemmerman numerous times in the face, the man got in his car and took off.

"I'm OK," the 25-year-old said. "It could have been much worse."

The couple, who have been together for six years, were leaving Bianca del Rio's ironically titled Rolodex of Hate drag show at the Baltimore Soundstage when they entered the crosswalk. 

This isn't the first time Lemmernan has been attacked for being gay in Baltimore. 

"I hosted a club night at The Get Down about three years ago," he said. "A bunch of guys came in and didn't know it was a gay night. As I was dancing with Stuart, one turned around and said 'get that gay shit out of here.' I politely told him that it was my party and he could leave if he wanted. When I turned away, he sucker-punched me in the back of the head. A huge brawl broke out. It was ironic that I was gay-bashed on my own gay dance night."

Another gay artist, rapper DDm, said he hasn't had personal incidents with gay bashing in Baltimore but remains alert. "I've never had problems, but then again I'm a pretty big guy," he said, adding this caveat: "But this is a tough town and very unpredictable." 

Lemmerman, who lives near Soundstage, observed that though it's great to go to a general venue for a drag show, the impending closure of the Club Hippo leaves a void.  

"We need our gay places," Lemmerman said. "It's really nice to have a safe place. I understand why [gay bars] are closing, but it's great to be with your community and identify with each other. I see [the bars] as a necessary and safe." 

This morning, Lemmerman posted a picture of his bloodied and bruised face on Facebook with the words, "Thanks Baltimore, sorry for being gay."

The headline of this story has been changed to more accurately reflect the content.

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