New D.C. resident William Southern says he and his friend Robbie Barletta were attacked by a group of five people because they are gay. Southern, who said the attack happened on Sunday afternoon, later posted a slideshow of his facial injuries and bloodied t-shirt to Instagram along with news of the assault.
Wrote Southern on Instagram: “So, this is extremely hard for me and I have not 100% settled on how I feel it. But, Sunday a friend of mine @robertandre and I were the target and the victims of a hate crime. We were attacked by 4 men and a women on the corner of 16th and U in Washington DC, simply because we were gay. The four men and the lady brutally attacked myself and my friend, I was sent to the ER where I received stitches to pull my lip back together.”
Added Southern: “The moral of this story is not that it happened or for people to feel sorry for me. This is a statement, I will never stop being gay, I will never feel ashamed of who I am. Most importantly, I will never let anyone around me feel like less of a person simply because of who they are! I am fortunate enough to have an amazing support system even though I have only lived in DC for a few months. I am proud and honoured to be apart of @stonewallkickball, my kickball family came together and has given me amazing support and I never would have met them without the lady’s and gentlemen who were courageous enough to put together these teams to support LGBTQ rights and give them a safe haven to be themselves. May we stand strong and move forward.”
Southern later added, in a comment to a follower: “They have not caught the people involved but the investigation is still open.”