A Nebraska straight man is recovering after being attacked for protecting his gay friends on Saturday night (26 October).
Ryan Langenegger was at a restaurant in Old Market, Omaha, with his two friends Josh Foo and Jacob Gellinger after a night out when three guys approached them.
‘We were eating and there was three guys watching us and one of them stepped up and was a foot or two away from my friend [Gellinger] and he just kept saying, “Should I? Should I?”’ Langenegger told WOWT 6.
Gellinger, who was in drag, said to the men, ‘I know I’m a boy in a dress.’
Langenegger said the men then told Gellinger was ‘disgusting’ and used homophobic language.
When the three friends left the restaurant, the men allegedly followed them outside and prevented them from getting to their car and leaving.
‘I stepped in and said, “Hey, we aren’t looking for any trouble” and as I’m talking to him, one of his friends from the corner of my eye comes up and hits me in the face.
‘I stand up and he also swings at my other friend and misses and I just look at him and say, “Why? There’s no reason for this”.’
Langenegger was left bruised and bloody from the attack, with two chipped teeth and a giant gash on his forehead.
‘I see this happen all the time with my friends and it’s really sickening it’s 2013, we live in Omaha, a lot of people don’t realize that this stuff is going on and it’s just not right, and I’m just not going to stand by and watch my friends and pretty much family get degraded. It’s just not right,’ he added.
The three friends are hoping to get surveillance footage from the restaurant and the attackers’ credit card information to track them down. They intend to press charges.
In the US state of Nebraska, there are currently no laws explicitly protecting LGBTI people from discrimination. Same-sex marriage is outright banned.