A straight man has spoken out after being the victim of a vicious homophobic assault.
The man, Sheng Hua Yan, of Toronto, says he was the victim of an anti-LGBT hate crime because he was perceived as being gay.
World Pride took place in Toronto in 2014
Yan victim says he was walking back from shopping for groceries, when two men were audibly upset that they had been mistaken for a gay couple.
He says that, despite being straight, one of the men turned to him and asked: “Are you gay?… you look pretty gay to me.”
Then Yan says he was grabbed by the hair and was punched and kicked to the ground by the man after he tried to walk away.
The incident was interrupted by a passer-by, and the pair ran away before calling for police assistance.
Yan wrote Facebook: “This is my first experience (and hopefully last) being a victim of violent hate crime,”
“I have also learned a lesson about the danger of hatred the hard way: victims of homophobia are not exclusive to gay/lesbian/bi/transsexual persons, but are ALL members of the society; hatred knows no reasoning and honours no negotiation, one can simply be a victim if picked to be.”
According to Toronto police, it is unclear whether the crime will be treated as a hate crime, but the incident is being investigated.
Yan has been left with a bruised eye, and was left with internal bleeding following the attack.
“The LGBT community’s battle for acceptance is just as relevant as, if not necessary for everyone’s survival, regardless of sexual orientation,” Yan said.