By Fouzia van der Fort

The gay community has been severely affected by the slayings of Brett Goldin and Richard Bloom.

The two men were killed execution-style with single shots to their heads and were found naked, except for their socks, earlier this week.

Glen de Swardt, Health Services and Research manager of the Triangle Project, a non-profit organisation challenging homophobia said: "A lot of people are distressed at the way they were killed.

"For many, the manner in which they were executed conjures up images of the horrific humiliation similarly suffered by the victims of the Sizzlers massacre," he said.

After receiving numerous calls from distressed gays who have been traumatised by the murders, the project has made counselling available.

De Swardt said it was difficult to say whether the victims' sexual orientation played a role in their being targeted.

Some media coverage of the murders, where pictures of the victims' naked bodies were published, was "particularly disturbing and highly insensitive".

"Crimes detailing a certain element of hate perpetuates a theme which resonates with that particular group involved," said De Swardt.

He said Goldin and Bloom were very popular and very well known in the gay community, who were all affected in some way by the murders.

Goldin, 28, starred in the MTV comedy Crazy Monkey.

Bloom, 27, was involved in design and marketing for the Cape Town-based men's label Maze Clothing.

The Triangle Project's social workers and psychologists can be contacted at the Gay and Lesbian Helpline daily between 1pm and 9pm on (021) 422 2500.

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