Today in the hero files…
Lee Brobson, a 30-year-old man in the UK, has become something of a local celebrity after landing himself in the hospital for breaking up a homophobic attack.
The attack took place in the early morning hours of January 26. Brobson and his friends, Dan and Clark, walked to a bar in Chelmsford when a pair of men approached them. When they noticed Dan & Clark holding hands, the strangers immediately began yelling homophobic insults and attacked.
“We spotted these two guys staring at us, following us down the road with their eyes,” Brobson recalled to PinkNews. “Clark decided to engage with them and said hello, to ask what they’re staring at.” That’s when the homophobic insults began, with the unidentified assailants yelling “faggot” and calling the group “unnatural.” Brobson then stepped in.
“I tired to calm them down,” Brobson said, “and dismiss it, but they grabbed my friend and pulled him back. It’s 2020, and we’re just off doing out own thing. They weren’t having any of it and that’s when they punched me down.”
“They were going in for blood,” he said. “It was hurtful and disgusting.”
Brobson absorbed the punches of the two attackers to protect his friends. After the homophobes ran off into the night, Brobson spent nine hours in the hospital. He endured cuts, bruises, and missed two days of work at his bartending job as a result.
Still, despite the injuries, Brobson’s spirit has not wavered. “I’m determined that something good will come from this even if they never get caught,” he says. “Homophobia or hate crimes do not have a place in modern-day society.” Brobson has used the attack as an opportunity to raise funds for LGBTQ charities like Terrence Higgins Trust and the Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline.
Chelmsford police have opened an inquiry into the assault, and continue to solicit information from the public in hopes of identifying Brobson’s attackers. This attack is just the latest in a rash of homophobic attacks in the UK, which–like those in the US–have risen in number over the past few years.