Ambassador Chris Stevens in the 70s with male companion Austin Tichenor, whose Facebook profile has been displaying photos and remembrances of Stevens the last few days including references to the gay-themed novel “Brideshead Revisited” whose main characters were star-crossed, doomed lovers “Sebastian” and “Charles”…which is not a far cry from the names “Austin” and “Chris”, as some of Austin’s friends have noted on Facebook.
Today I went out into the field here in Chicago looking to talk to some of the striking teachers but no one in a red-shirt was anywhere to be found (or, if they were wearing one, they had nothing to do with the teachers’ union strike). A journalist friend of mine asked me to nose around and see if I could uncover anything about slain Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was rumored to be gay. A former “roommate” of Stevens by the name of Austin Tichenor lives and works in Chicago and while making calls to friends of mine in the theater world who know him I also thought to check some sources with the city who deal with the State Department and foreign dignitaries when they are in town.
Of course, they’ve all been talking about Ambassador Stevens’ murder by Muslims in Libya: and all of them are incredulous that the State Department sent a gay man to be ambassador to a Muslim country. News reports continue to indicate that the Muslims who murdered Stevens also raped him repeatedly, before and after his death.
I was told by friends in the City’s protocol office to go over to the Second Story Bar in downtown Chicago, just off Michigan Avenue, because it’s where a lot of gay guys who work for both the city and the consulates go after work. Chicago is home to a great number of consulates, including the Polish, Chinese, and Serbian consulates amongst others. I happened to luck out when the bartender working, who is a friend, tipped me off that a man in a suit talking to some other foreign-looking types worked at the Serbian consulate a few doors up the street towards the lake.