• Beaten up for being gay

    From LGBTQIA Record@21:1/5 to All on Tue Aug 15 01:55:23 2017
    XPost: talk.politics.medicine, talk.rape, talk.religion.newage

    Fifty years ago, gay sex between men in private was
    decriminalised in England and Wales. Despite this, hate crimes
    against gay people have persisted, and the number of attacks
    recorded by police has been rising. There were 7,194 in England
    and Wales in the year to April 2016. Campaigners say this isn't
    the full picture, though, as many victims still don't report
    assaults. Six people affected by hate crimes share their stories.

    Warning: This story contains details of violence and images
    which some readers might find upsetting.

    James and Dain were enjoying a night out together in Brighton in
    May 2016 when they were followed out of a nightclub and attacked
    on the seafront. The assault has left physical and emotional

    James: We were at the bar and we got this look from a couple of
    guys from across the dance floor. It takes a lot to make me feel
    uncomfortable but it was just such a weird look they gave us.
    Dain had his arm around me. I don't think they liked that.

    Then they started shouting at us. I told Dain we needed to get
    out of the club into a taxi the quickest way possible.

    Dain: We left the bar. No-one was about. All of a sudden I heard
    running behind us. There was no way we were going to outrun
    them. They grabbed us from behind and chucked us to the floor. I
    was lying on the pavement and all I could see was James but the
    next thing I saw was a shoe coming towards my face. That knocked
    me completely unconscious.

    James: One of the boys started kicking Dain's face really
    rapidly. There was a lot of aggression and shouting of "gay

    Every time I tried to crawl closer to Dain, I was dragged along
    the pavement. At that point, a taxi drove past and called the
    police. I remember standing up for the first time and Dain
    looked at me and said, "I can't see."

    Dain: My eye socket was completely shattered. I had haemorrhages
    in both my eyes and fractures on my cheeks. My tooth was chipped
    and my nose was broken as well. I remember being in hospital and
    kept asking, "Am I going to be able to see again?"

    They said, "We can't tell you because everything is so swollen."
    They couldn't even open my eyes.

    James and I were very close anyway but spending that much time
    with each other really proved to me how strong our relationship
    is. I'm a very resilient person and I'm not going to live my
    life how someone else wants me to. I'm not going to let anyone
    change that. If anything, this has made me want to be who I am
    even more.

    James: It's made him stronger and it's made him not care about
    what other people think and to go out there and be himself even
    more, whereas it's done the opposite to me. It's changed me.
    I've changed my thought process and mindset, how I think, how I
    look, how I speak, who I'm with, where we go and it's sad
    because I remember how we were before it happened and I look at
    us now and it's upsetting because it's them who made this
    happen. That's what's hard to accept.

    It's a year since it happened and I thought things would
    probably get easier but they haven't. When we're out and about
    he wants us to look like we're together obviously but I'm scared
    of something similar happening again. It wasn't like that a year
    ago. We didn't go down the street holding hands but I wasn't
    fully aware of us making sure that we weren't seen as a couple.

    I couldn't ever forgive the people who attacked us or forget
    what happened. It will stay with me and I'm sure it will stay
    with them for the rest of their lives.

    Both attackers, Gage Vye-Parminter and Matthew Howes, pleaded
    guilty to grievous bodily harm and assault and were sentenced to
    seven years in prison.


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