It's such a ugly movie with nothing good or valuable to say about me and my friends.
There's the problem right there. You (and the two Davids) are too close to the material, you feel personally attacked and are thus unable to appraise the film on its own merits. That many activists were protesting and interferring with the movie before it was even in the can speaks volumes.
I think, first of all, we have to clarify that this is not a film that deals with 'the gay community' but, rather, a specific New York-based S&M community at a certain moment in time. Let us then consider, uncomfortable as it may be to some devotees, that the allure of S&M activity - gay and hetero alike - owes something to the line trodden between consensual fantasy and violent rape and the pleasure of transgression against what is 'acceptable', 'normal' or healthy. We might even consider BDSM to be an active taunting of death - the transformation of pain into pleasure, fear into ecstasy. In such a game, a line can be crossed, play with the fire and you're apt to get burned. When Friedkin show us in CRUSING that death lurks beneath the surface of this world, not just within the 'other', but capable of infecting the likes of 'you', 'me' and Joe Six Pack (Pacino), transfering from person to person like Bob in Twin Peaks, this is not a condemnation of the gay community - or the BDSM community - but, rather, a general observation on the human capacity for, and fascination with, violence and an acknowledgement of a reality that exists both philosophically and in the form of actual events that inspired the making of the film.
And whilst we're on the subject, Friedkin displays far bigger balls than Scorsese, who ludicrously changed the skin colour of the pimps in Taxi Driver to meet politically correct concerns.
And finally, for Michael, which do you find more dangerous, a work or art or the repression of artistic freedom? Oh, and To Live & Die in L.A. is Friedkin's best.