Christin Howard, a 20-year-old gay man, was taking a photo with a friend at Detroit’s Motor City Pride event on Sunday when some men approached him making negative comments about his long hair and calling him homophobic slurs.
Howard told WXYZ-Detroit that the young men started closing in, threatening violence and then they attacked. At one point, about five to eight men began punching and kicking Howard who had fallen to the ground.
“Then somebody said they had a gun,” said Howard, whose vicious beating was caught on tape that was aired on the news station.
Since the incident, the young hairstylist told the news station, he has been unable to work due to badly bruised hands and he has had trouble sleeping.
“Pride celebrations offer people in our communities an opportunity to feel safe in expressing our authentic selves,” Equality Michigan, an advocacy group that represents Michigan’s LGBT and HIV communities, said in a statement viewed by the news station.
“Unfortunately, this is a tragic reminder that we still have a lot of work to do to ensure that LGBT people can walk down the street without fear of violence.”
With the unprovoked attack still fresh on his mind, Howard doesn’t know if he will go to next year’s pride event.
“Will I go back to Pride? I’m kind of iffy about it right now, because I don’t want that incident to happen again. What if the same guys are there?”
Read more at WXYZ-Detroit.