A gay teenager who was viciously attacked by homophobes in Auckland, New Zealand, has warned LGBT youth to be vigilant when in town at night.
Zakk d'Larté uploaded a photo of his bruised and cut face to his Facebook page after he was attacked by three men in the city center on Saturday night (26 May).
The 18-year-old pop singer said he wanted to warn the gay community that homophobia still exists and urged people to stay in groups for safety.
He told GayNZ.com that the incident happened when he was walking home from the Viaduct area.
‘These three guys approached me and I think they must've thought I was a female because they were flirting with me,’ the said.
‘But they quickly realized that I was a guy and got so aggressive and were punching and kicking me and shouting disgusting homophobic comments.’
Messages of sympathy have been pouring in for d'Larté on social networking sites and today he thanked everyone for their ‘amazing’ support.
Commenting on the picture of his battered face, Lewis Bostock said: ‘You are so brave for uploading this photo. Thanks for the warning. I am humbled.
‘Remember you have friends who love and support you. What I love about you is your confidence, you know that, would hate to see that destroyed by three assholes. Don't let them break your spirit.’
While Tara Pond said: ‘It sickens me how ignorant people are, even in such an open minded time and place.’