The 2 Austin Gay Softball Players Jumped By 4 Men in Early Morning Bashing

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.


(video via)

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  • scott ny'er

    This is a sad reminder that hates still exists and you can’t be blind to the fact, such hate will be acted out on us. In forms of physical threats, attempts or possibly murder. I don’t think one should walk around paranoid. But one needs to be aware.

  • terrwill

    Typical lowlife subhuman scumbag savages…….They attack in a pack from behind. When their “victims” actually start to defend themselves they run like cockaroaches, probably then headed to the local cruise area and all got barebacked by some anonymos trolls…………..Too bad Emmanuel and Matt wern’t carrying their softball bats……….

  • Stan

    Damn. The local news is not talking enough about this. It happened Friday night and I still haven’t heard about this until Tuesday? They’re still posting articles about the airplane crash as though it just happened though.

  • james p. p.

    what pisses me off is that this was downtown, like RIGHT in downtown’s warehouse/2nd street districts. the area between Oil Can’s and the City Hall is populated with dark alleys and corners, but sticking onto the main roads isn’t much safer if the street is dark and the only people around age going to and from a parking garage.

    the city of austin (mainly valets) has taken all the parking off the steets and forced people into garages all over downtown without giving real protection to anyone who uses these facilities. this is not the first occurrence, one group even stupidly attacked a gay policeman.

    there are cameras all over this city. this can be solved.

    i hope this instance doesn’t silence because i’m tired of hearing these fucking stories – so please contact me and let me know where i can be of assistance if need be.

  • schlukitz

    Right about now, the lurkers and jerkers should be chiming in about how this is just another sympathy ploy by the gay community to get “Special treatment”.

    This shit sucks. Big time.

  • susan

    wow-my daughter sent me this via facebook. i am outraged! God bless you guys-you’re in my prayers. my family has many gay & bi friends and those haters are just lucky i wasn’t there! (irish red-headed mom!)peace be with you-i pray they get caught.~and keep speaking out,we need to hear it. fear not. xx

  • schlukitz

    No. 6 · susan

    Thank you for your kind words of support.

    I am certain that it will mean a lot to Emmanuel and his family.

  • christopher di spirito

    You mean one of the cities The Advocate anointed as a gay mecca, Austin, TX, isn’t a gay-friendly place after all?

  • james p. p.

    Austin is a wonderful gay-friendly place. When I first came out I moved here and though I moved all over the United States, I found Austin to be the best place to live all around and finally made it back.

    But there is not to say that we have several universities here, many religious based, we have University of Texas which is athletic based, and we have tons of small-town Texas kids flocking into our city, some of which have never seen an out homosexual before. There are a few that pop up and are literally horrified at out gay people. These are the same ‘kids’ that get drunk and go shooting small ‘critters’ for fun…

    Mostly, if they spend their 4 or whatever years here, everything calms down (I say “usually”) because that comes with growth and education, but during those first two years the stupidity is still in existence.

    That is my theory, at least.

  • james p. p.

    uugh… you have to cut and paste the link I suppose… and you will get the facebook page.

    ANYWAY… there is a march from Oil Can’s to City Hall Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 2:00pm if anyone is interested.

  • Nick Young

    WTF? I hope they catch these low life cowards. I am thankful you are both okay and GREAT for you for fighting back. I cannot understand why this still exists in our world. We are with you in spirit from Los Angeles!!!

  • Wesley

    What pisses me off is that Austin Police seem to have nothing better to do than set up DUI traps around all the gay bars in town and now this.

    I posted the story to my facebook page along with the video survelience.

    Hope they catch these low life criminals.

  • ewe

    The wankers that did this will brag to someone and they will be exposed soon enough.

  • ossurworld

    Deep in the heart of Texas, gay men should carry a gun and shoot first.

  • Jay

    …on a happy note, Emmanuel still looks cute.

  • Thomas

    Wow, what a horrific thing to endure. BUT what an even more horrific thing Oilcan Harry’s did…

    “Come out and March against hate… Wear your Shady Lady T-Shirts If you don’t have one…You can buy one at Oilcan Harry’s for 10.00 then come out after the march for the after party” (Taken from staff members facebook page”

    Then to find out the money has been used to send the Shady lady softball team to DC for playoffs vs. going to a worthy charity that can do good with it.

    The event was nothing more than a shameless ploy to get Oilcan Harry’s in the media as they have been struggling, and a fundraiser and sad campaign forum for several local politicians. The true message of ANTI-Hate was lost somewhere in the money collection.

    Then to later hear that this may have not been a hate crime at all, rather a drunk night out that ended in a brawl.


  • Emmanuel


    Hi Thomas,

    I don’t even know if you’ll get a chance to read this, but I thought I’d respond so I can provide some facts, and clarify some generalities, insinuations, and outright fabrications in your post.

    As the person who was ATTACKED from behind by four men without any provocation or warning, to call the attack a “drunken brawl” would imply several things. First, it implies that the attack was knowingly instigated and engaged by both sides. I became an “unknowing” party the moment the four men followed us four blocks waiting for the perfect opportunity when no one was around and attacked me and Matt from behind. I did not know the men. I only noticed them following us because, contrary to your insinuation, I was not “drunk” and happened to be very aware of my surroundings. It’s unfortunate that my belief in the goodness of people led me to be completely caught off guard by that attack. Second, your assertion implies that the attack was somehow a product of our actions, that we “deserved” to be attacked. I don’t know how I feel about that one, but I’ll get back to it when I’m at a more rational emotional state, rather than one motivated by anger.

    Furthermore, your skewed perspective of Oil Can Harry’s participation in organizing the March Against Hate is misplaced and frankly seems to be the product of something personal. The idea of providing Shady Ladies Fans shirts only materialized after the overwhelming demand shown by the community when they heard that we were attacked while wearing our team shirts. For people, wearing the shirt was a symbol of solidarity. It was not a gesture that we pushed, but rather one that we only helped people achieve.

    It is also a complete fabrication that “the money has been used to send the team to DC playoffs.” We have never intended to go to a tournament in DC and I am completely unaware of any playoffs in DC. You may be referring to the World Series in Columbus, OH. We have also not traveled outside of Austin for any tournaments this year… You can imagine my confusion regarding your statement. I would check your facts before writing things that could be considered a defamation of character.

    Finally, what “truly disgusts” me is that you would have the audacity to write something like this based on half-truths and fabrications. You are no better than the four men who attacked me. Like them, your attacks are based on ignorance and you hide behind the anonymity of being just another person on the internet. The only difference between you and them is that you attack with words, trying to tear down the all the good that has come out of the attack.

    My only wish is that I hope to one day meet you face to face, so that I can see the author behind the words and put a face to something that truly disgusts me.

    May you live your life safely, and never walk the streets in fear of being attacked.

  • southpaugh

    The only reason there is any societal pressure against gays in any community is because of religious dogma. Given the high profile religious antipathy for equal rights for gays, one may place the responsibility for such antisocial behavior as this squarely in the lap of religious bigotry. I’m looking at you, Mormon church. Plus, Knights of Columbus coconspirators in passing Prop 8, and every other anti-equality statute and constitutional initiative have blood on their hands, too. There is neither standing nor calling for even a smidgen of religious delusion in civil law or a secualr society as is the United States under the Constitution of the United States. Freedom of religion means you can practice your religion in private, at home or your sanctuary, or quietly to yourself when you’re in public. Freedom of religion does not allow for shoving one’s fears, guilt, neuroses and paranoia down everybody else’s throats with legistlation of false and corrupt religious so-called morality. Promoting hatred and intolerance of gays leads to exactly this kind of attack on innocents, all in the name of a mythical god with super powers nobody ever sees. Freedom *FROM* religion now!

  • jamie rok

    it is strange that the two most dangerous area’s of the world to live(exist) in for LGBTQ (esp poorer non powerful ) people is africa and the usa,well
    as long as you guys do not export your church/faith and religious power & cash to europe and asia its really
    up to you and the africans how you behave.

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