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Gino Barelli is a reporter for The Downtown Native investigating recent spike in hate crimes against gay men in NYC. He is a character in NYC portrayed by Joe Mantello. Gino is in a secret relationship with NYPD detective Patrick Read.


Gino Barelli is an Italian-American of Calabrian origin.[1] He is a war veteran, and has a United States Marine Corps tattoo on his chest attesting to his being a US Military Veteran.[2]


Gino Barelli ends up in a killer hunt when he goes on the trail of a series of murders of gay men. Reporting the news in the newspaper he works for, The Downtown Native, he confronts and confides in his partner, Patrick Read who happens to also be an NYPD detective, and a source of information. This leads Gino into a minor confrontation with activist Fran, but also to receive valuable information about the so-called Mai Tai Killer from Henry, a regular patron of the Brownstone Bar, and make the acquaintance of Adam Carpenter, who ends up working at the newsroom while seeking justice for his missing roommate. As Gino leaves the Brownstone bar, he realizes he's been drugged; he is helped into a car by an unfamiliar man.[3]

Gino awakens in a room and realizes he has been abducted. The reporter is tortured and is on the verge of death when the captor decides to let him go since he too is a veteran. Gino thus ends up further and further down the rabbit hole in search of the serial killer he thinks is the same man who tortured him, especially since the police is not helping or believing him about the abduction. While Adam is detained for posting flyers, Gino receives a visit from Barbara, Patrick's ex-wife who makes him aware of Patrick's secret sex gear. Discouraged and overwhelmed, Gino suggests that Patrick investigate The Ditch, a leather bar where he gets a few scraps of information from Alana before yet another murder in the crowd.[2]

Gino continues his search for the Mai Tai Killer who may be his kidnapper, but Patrick casts doubt on the artist's sketch. Gino then plays on Patrick's masochism and getting off in forbidden actions and convinces him to follow a new lead; the sex pay phone associated with Sam. Gino again returns to solicit information from Henry but with little result. He then rushes to the ER when he learns that Adam was at the Ascension Club set on fire by Big Daddy. Gino and Patrick split up to track down the Mai Tai Killer spotted among the injured in the ER. Gino has the misfortune of being the first to find him in the morgue and, after a scuffle, is surprised from behind and restrained into one of the freezing drawers. [4]

After being rescued by Patrick, Gino continues his quest, which leads him to the Neptune Baths where he has a confrontation with Kathy Pizazz. Eventually, the two put aside their differences and put up a united front. Meanwhile, Gino begins to experience aches and rashes all over his body. At first, he accuses Patrick of bringing fleas into the house, but after an encounter with Barbara that further questions Patrick's honesty, Gino argues with his partner. Gino falls ill and loses consciousness during the argument. He is hospitalized, where he is diagnosed with "Cat Scratch Fever." [1]

With all that he has been through recently, Gino is self-deprecating about ending up in hospital for cat scratch fever. At the Native, an upset Adam informs him that Fran is moonlighting as a fortune-teller. Gino visits the parlor (another of the businesses run by Kathy) and accuses them both of exploiting the suffering of people by running scams. Kathy offers him a tarot card reading which turns out to be disastrous. Gino hallucinates an angel of death who wants to kiss him while he is in despair and doubts Patrick's love. The reporter flees the parlor and once home enjoys a hot bath. Gino finds sarcoma lesions on his body and spots them on Patrick's back when he returns home, seeking comfort after finding Barbara's lifeless body. [5]

Gino and Patrick visits Dr Hannah Wells at the clinic since she helped with the victims of the arson, but she won't break doctor-patient confidentiality for an unofficial investigation. Meanwhile, Gino grows suspicious of Patrick when he perceives he is lying about an uncovered body on Fire Island. Gino accuses the cop of having an affair, which becomes even more likely when he sees Patrick getting into a car with Sam. Gino is threatened by Henry in his apartment. The barfly is actually an organised crime hitman. Gino manages to save himself by saying that a body has been found on Fire Island, where the two run into Patrick and Sam digging a skeleton. The three men confess to Gino the corpse is Billy, who died accidentally during a sex party at Sam's house in 1979. Patrick was also present and Henry had helped them hide the body together with Whitely, who, based on bones cuts, could be the Mai Tai Killer. Henry and Gino devise a trap to catch Whitely in a bar but when Gino sees the suspect load Henry into a car and leave the bar, he asks for Patrick's help. [6]

Gino and Patrick venture into the murderer's lair. Upset by a crucified corpse, they are knocked unconscious by Whitely. Gino wakes up strapped to a slab along with Henry, who manages to dislodge his hand from one cuff but is forced to saw off the other. Gino armed with running chainsaw and Henry with a cleaver, they rescue Patrick. As Whitely explains his twisted reasons, Patrick shoots him in the head. At the Native, Gino refuses to run Adam's absurd story of Big Daddy targeting people with blood-borne diseases. However, he invites him to go to Fire Island with him and Patrick. After convincing Patrick to go on vacation since he thinks he is haunted by Barbara's ghost, Gino runs a front-page editorial about Gay Pride and how death and survival are an integral part of gay experiences. [7]

The vacation is not the best as Gino feels something growing inside him and is frightened by sarcoma lesions sprouting on his body. He argues with Patrick over their intimacy issues. While trying to ease his mind on the beach, Gino receives a declaration of love from Henry. When Gino rejects him, Henry reveals that he saved his and Patrick's life when the mobsters wanted them dead. At the bungalow, he is attacked by the elusive Big Daddy. Gino and Adam struggle to escape him until Patrick shoots the hooded man in the back of the head. The corpse, however, disappears as the three decide on what to do in the other room. [8]

In 1987, Gino visits Patrick at the hospital. The entire ward as well as Patrick's room are in poor hygienic conditions. Gino takes care of his lover and in the process also cleans the room. A doctor wearing a laboratory coat informs Patrick suffered a detachment of the retina and is not eligible for operation as he is an AIDS patient. Therefore the blindness will be permanent. Gino is visibly shaken and angry, but continues to care for Patrick where the staff lacks empathy and professionalism. Gino is at Patrick's bedside when he passes away, now unable to distinguish reality from the dream.

Gino attends Patrick's funeral where he is coldly ignored by his late lover's family, as well as his colleagues from the precinct. Gino has a bad reaction to seeing the coffin closed and imagines opening it to reveal botched embalming work till Adam brings him back to reality. As he stands in the pulpit for the eulogy, Gino experiences visions of Big Daddy―revealing himself to be a manifestation of the deadly virus.

Gino starts taking AZT medication now that the mysterious virus has been identified as HIV/AIDS. As the years pass, Gino fills his days with Act Up protests, including 'die in', and continues to write rivers of ink for the Native documenting the deaths of thousands from the virus. Gino witnesses the deaths of friends and acquaintances until he too dies of complications from AIDS in 1990, where his mentee Adam delivers his eulogy. [9]

Personality and Appearance[]

Gino Barelli is a no-nonsense reporter and editor in chief of The Downtown Native, a gay newspaper. He is openly against the police, whom he considers apathetic and hostile toward marginalized people like the LGBTQ+ community. In spite of this, he has fallen in love with Patrick, a detective but by his own admission he did not go through everything that he has gone through in his life to go back into the closet for a guy who does not want to be what he truly is. This leads to several conflicts in the relationship, especially when Patrick's pasts and secrets come out into the open. [3] Gino is outspoken and opinionated, heedless of risk if it means fighting injustice and bringing out the rottenness of society hidden behind respectability. [2]

Gino is self-aware of his stubbornness that he ascribe to his Calabrese heritage when talking to Kathy Pizazz, another Italian-American he head-butted with during his inquiries on the Mai Tai Killer.[1]

Henry is a 50-year-old man of Italian descent with olive complexion, white hair and neatly trimmed white beard. He wears round-rimmed prescription glasses. He sports casual wear such as jeans and denim shirts. Over the years, Gino also added silver and lapis lazuli rings and beaded necklaces of the same stone. As he becomes infected with the virus, sarcoma lesions disfigure his skin.


  • To Patrick: "You boys who came out late are so charmingly naïve."
  • To Adam: "I will sit in front of this pathetic, shitty typewriter, and I will tell the six-dozen like-minded homos who read this that they are after us."


  • Gino's abduction and pieces against police apathy are purportedly inspired by the murder of reporter Addison Verrill by Paul Bateson, and Village Voice journalist Arthur Bell's articles. [10]
  • Gino and Patrick are the only characters to appear in all episodes of NYC.
  • Joe Mantello received an honorable mention on TVLine's Performer of The Week list for his performance as Gino Barelli in the American Horror Story: NYC finale.[11]


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