Comrade John Stanley Wojtowicz was a hero.
Where others would cower before the might of the bourgeois state, before the power of the cis-dominated liberal society. Where they would work themselves to the bone for scraps,
Wojtowicz stood up.
John Stanley Wojtowicz met Elizabeth Eden in 1971, in New York City. Some say they met at the Feast of St. Anthony, others at the Feast of San Gennaro. Regardless, they married publicly soon after. Wojtowicz wore his military uniform, Eden her bridal gown. Wojtowicz loved his wife and she loved him.
But Eden was miserable, still.
She could not afford gender affirming surgery, and neither could Wojtowicz. She repeatedly attempted suicide, for which the state imprisoned her in a psychiatric institution. During her internment, Wojtowicz began to look for money.
Following a shady tip from a Chase Bank Executive, Wojtowicz enlisted the help of his fellow queer comrade, Salvatore Naturale. Wojtowicz purchased a .38 revolver, a shotgun, a thirty-ought-six rifle, and two tickets to the recently debuted film: The Godfather.
After the movie, and dressed in fancy suits, the two robbers entered Chase Bank.
They gave the cashier an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Naturale wanted his cut so he could save his two sisters from both foster care and their drunk and neglectful mother; Wojtowicz so he could finally pay for his wife’s surgery. Unfortunately: Naturale died during the getaway, shot in the chest by an FBI agent; Wojtowicz was imprisoned.
Though his efforts bore no fruit,
Wojtowicz had a reprieve.
Wojtowicz’s heroism would be memorialized in the film Dog Day Afternoon, and the small royalties paid to him did allow him to pay for his wife’s operation.
But it is not Eden’s surgery which immortalizes Wojtowicz; rather his efforts, his struggles, towards her surgery. Wojtowicz was a paragon of defiance against the state, against living quietly in the epoch of another class. His example is empirically meritorious! Whenever his story is told, his name merely mentioned, exclamations of praise resound throughout those who were listening. He is truly deserving of the title: