Survivor

His Grindr date tried to kill him. Now, he’s bringing a message of hope.

Holden White. KATC screenshot.

Holden White, a Louisiana man stabbed by his Grindr date, has granted a powerful new interview regarding his attack. In it, he details the horrible night that he thought would be his last. He also wants people to have hope for survival, even in their darkest moments.

White met Chance Seneca, the suspect in his attack, in June on the networking app Grindr. When the two met up for a hangout, Seneca proceeded to attack White, apparently living out his fantasies of killing gay men. Law enforcement has revealed that Seneca idolizes the gay serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who raped, murdered, and cannibalized his victims.

“Part (of what) I remember is that I reached over to grab something out of my bag,” White told KATC TV. “That’s when I felt a cord wrap around my throat and he started pulling me backwards. He strangled me for, I can’t tell you how long, but it felt like a very long time. And he did it to the point as to where every single blood vessel in my face ruptured.”

White woke up in a bathtub sometime later, with his attacker standing over him.

Related: A gay man was stabbed and beaten by a Jeffrey Dahmer fan. Police say it’s not a hate crime.

“There was just blood all over my chest and stuff,” White remembers. “He was just kind of sitting there watching me, and I was like, ‘Okay this is it.’ My final words to myself was, ‘just stay calm.’ In my mind I kept repeating to myself, ‘just stay calm, stay calm.’ Slowly, I passed out.”

Chance Seneca mugshot.

Seneca apparently couldn’t go through with the murder, and contacted law enforcement instead.

“I’ve been told that Chance called the police and he said, ‘Hey, I just tried to murder somebody, send an ambulance,’ and when they found me I was still naked in the bathtub,” White says. He woke up in a hospital bed severely beaten.

White has spoken out to make sure the world realizes his attack constitutes a hate crime–something local police have hesitated to declare. “This is a hate crime due to a fact that he made it a point to choose a gay man on a gay app,” he explained. “He made sure I was a gay man and then in the same breath, he also idolized Jeffery Dahmer. What Jeffery Dahmer did was he choose gay men and lured them back to his house and he would kill them.”

As his scars healed, White decided to mark the event with some body modification of his own: a new tattoo of a semicolon.

“Basically, what a semicolon does is it puts a pause on a sentence,” White explains. “Chance tried to stop my life, so instead of a period I made it a semicolon.”

“I’m staying strong,” White adds. “I’m not going to let this incident get to me.”

Chance Seneca remains in holding at Lafayette Parish Correctional Center awaiting trial.