A gay man in Preston England, has posted to social media details of a brutal, alleged homophobic attack he suffered at the weekend.
Ryan Williams, 22, works as a receptionist in the Lancashire city. On Sunday, he posted a photo to Facebook of his face covered in bruises and cuts.
‘I never thought in my life that I would get beaten up for being GAY!’ he stated in the accompanying caption.
‘Wtf has this world actually come too, you’re all vile and disgusting!
‘I want people to understand that being gay ISNT a choice and I can’t help it, I’m sorry that you can’t deal with it but hey ho no need to knock someone out because of it! I seriously can not believe that a homophonic attack happens! Which it does and it’s wrong!
‘Stand strong and love yourself, this isn’t gonna stop me from being fabulous! BEING GAY IS OK!’
Since posting his message on Sunday, the photo has received over 40,000 comments and 61,000 shares. Messages of support have flooded in from all over the world.
Night out takes turn for the worse
Williams told The Mirror more about the attack, which led to him requiring hospital treatment. It took place in the early hours of Sunday morning.
‘My friends and I were heading to McDonalds for something to eat after a night out.
‘There was a group of people nearby in the street and they started calling me and my friends gay.
‘We went over and told them it’s not okay to say things like that.
‘As I walked away then one of them ran after me and he hit me in the back of the head.’
Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident as a potential hate crime.
‘We were called around 6.30am on Saturday (July 13) following reports of an assault in Friargate, Preston.
‘A man in his 20s had been punched by another man close to McDonalds. The offender then made off from the scene with two men and a woman.
‘The victim was knocked unconscious suffering facial injuries. He later was taken to Royal Preston Hospital for treatment.
‘The assault is being investigated as a hate crime and enquiries are on-going.’
News of the attack emerges just a few weeks after the Guardian newspaper reported that hate crimes against LGBT people had risen 144% in England and Wales in the last five years.
Earlier this month, the annual British Social Attitude survey reported a slight dip in the acceptance of same-sex relationships in the UK: from 68% in 2017 to 66% in 2018.
Local Preston MP: ‘Horrendous’ crime
Preston’s local MP, Labour politician Mark Hendrick, tweeted his horror at the attack.
‘Horrendous that this can happen in 2019.’
Horrendous that this can happen in 2019. Preston man was brutally attacked for 'being gay' after night out https://t.co/pmdI3mcpmX
— Mark Hendrick (@MpHendrick) July 16, 2019
Gay Star News has contacted Ryan Williams and Preston Police for an update.