This is Emmanuel Winston. He’s a business student at the University of Texas. He was also just inducted into a fraternity nobody wants to be a part of: gay bashing victim. Winston writes Queerty to share his harrowing tale from Friday night, where he and softball teammate Matt Morgan were assaulted because, they claim, of their sexuality. After leaving a gay bar in Austin, four men followed them, and pummeled them.
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Winston tells us:
I’m writing to you to tell you about the experience my friend and I had this weekend. We were leaving a popular gay bar, Oilcan Harry’s, at around 2:30am late Friday night, early Saturday morning. We had just come from celebrating Jersey Night for the opening weekend of the spring softball season for gay Austin softball league. Both my friend and I were wearing our team jersey’s.
We were followed from the outside of the bar to three blocks down to the City Hall parking garage and attacked from behind by four men. The nature of the crime was based out of cowardice. The first unexpected blow was a punch to the back of my head. Attacking us from behind left us disoriented and unable to quickly react. At one point there were three men on me, kicking and punching my face. I don’t think these men expected us to fight back like we did, but my friend and I are fairly athletic men. When we were able to get the men of us and face them that is when one of the men called out to us calling us fags. They ran away, we tried to follow, but we lost them. I sustained contusions and lacerations to the face. My friend thought he had broken his nose.
I have never in my life experienced anything like this. The fact that I had been a target of a hate crime simply because of my sexual orientation had me shocked. We filed a report with the Austin Police Department and are waiting to see if the men can be identified, caught, and prosecuted.
The reason why I’m writing to you is because this needs to change. We live in 2010 and yet are still plagued with the ignorance and fear of others. A clear message needs to be sent that this is not o.k. I’ve been overwhelmed with the stories of other men and women who have also been targets of hate crime violence and at the time didn’t have the platform to speak. I am speaking out in behalf of future generations of gay men and women and hope that they never have to go through an experience like mine.