Two students from University of Memphis say they were threatened with violence and kicked out of a party for being gay.
Benjamin Buckley and Luke Chapman tell WMC5 Action News they were hanging out at an off-campus frat party when a group of male students approached, one of whom told Buckley, “you don’t belong here faggot.”
“We were just wanting to have a night out for fun,” Buckley recalls.
“He’s like, we’re being kicked out because we’re gay,” Chapman adds. “I wasn’t sure if I should believe him, like is this some sort of joke.”
Things quickly escalated from there.
One of the frat boys in particular became especially irate.
“He was screaming at us and called us faggot and all these things,” Buckley says. “And he looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to beat the f*ck out of you. I’m going to beat the life out of you.'”
The men then allegedly surrounded Buckley and Chapmen and pushed them towards the door, casting them out into the rain.
U of M President Dr. David Rudd issued a statement after local news reported on the incident: “An off-campus incident involving possible bigotry has been brought to my attention and has been referred for investigation. The Office of the Dean of Students is in the process of reaching out to students and others potentially involved. I think those that were responsible need to be held accountable.”
“I think those that were responsible need to be held accountable,” says Chapman.
Meanwhile, Buckley hopes it will start a larger campus-wide discussion about its ongoing problem of homophobia and intolerance.
“I want the focus to be on look what they did and see how it’s bad and see how it actually reflects a lot of what’s happening in society today, so we can understand that and grow from that,” says Buckley.