Carriage Driver's Anti-LGBTQ Insults at New Yorker Concerned about Horse in Heat and Traffic.


After cursing out concerned NYC resident in Hell’s Kitchen, carriage driver said, “What pronoun do you use?”


NEW YORK – During the latest heat wave, a carriage driver lashed out at a New York resident in Hell’s Kitchen who expressed concern about the condition of a sluggish horse that was pulling a carriage on heavily trafficked 11th Avenue in extreme heat. The driver said, "You're a fucking expert. An expert you are, right? Fucking moron. Curious, what are you called? What pronoun do you use?," before proceeding to drive the sickly-looking horse down the busy avenue filled with cars. 

Mocking pronoun identifiers is a common homophobic and transphobic trope, often amplified by right-wing media personalities and on social media. 

This is not the first time people associated with the horse carriage industry have engaged in hateful, racist attacks against everyday New Yorkers. In a 2018 Department of Transportation public hearing, multiple carriage drivers spewed homophobic and racist vitriol against a gay man and an Asian woman. One of the most shocking incidents happened during LGBTQ pride weekend in 2012, when a carriage driver verbally attacked a group of seniors. “...You c-nts…a little fucking dyke convention…you having a big dyke convention here?” shouted the driver at a group of women, mostly seniors, who were peacefully leafleting near where the carriages line up. “Fucking (n-word),” he said to a Black woman in the group.

“Peaceful New Yorkers who care about animal welfare deserve to be treated with respect, not subjected to vile, sexist, and anti-LGBTQ insults. Like carriage horses themselves, this kind of offensive attack has no place in New York City in the 21st Century,” said Edita Birnkrant, NYCLASS Executive Director. “It’s 2022, not 1822. It is urgently necessary to pass new legislation that will phase out the use of horse carriages once and for all.”  

A new bipartisan bill (#573), sponsored by Councilmember Robert Holden, will replace horse carriages with modern electric carriages. In addition to reducing horse deaths and making Manhattan streets safer for New Yorkers, the legislation will also require owners to pay drivers a prevailing wage. Today, carriage drivers apparently receive few, if any, benefits or standard worker protections and can be subjected to wage theft.

We urgently need NYC residents to make one quick call (or email) to your NYC Council Member, and ask them to "sign on as a co-sponsor to Intro 573 to replace suffering, dying carriage horses with cruelty-free electric carriages." Make sure you tell them that you live in their district!  

If you do not live in NYC, please call NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams at 718-206-2068 or email at [email protected] and ask her to use her power as head of the Council to "END horse abuse by supporting Intro 0573  to replace deadly horse carriages with cruelty-free electric carriages!"

Additional talking points for City Council: "When horses are forced to pull carriages on the busy streets of Manhattan, violent crashes and horse deaths will keep happening over and over again. Electric carriages don’t get spooked or drop dead- but 2,000 pound terrified horses in cities do - endangering themselves, carriage drivers, and everyone else around them. Carriage horse Billy's agonizing death in his stall two weeks ago is another wake up call for the City Council and Mayor to end this madness and bring New York in line with other global cities by shifting to abuse-free, electric-powered alternatives that ensure safer streets and provide drivers with better paying jobs." This is long, long overdue. Help us make history in 2022!

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