Gay Couple Hospitalized After Late Night Attack For Holding Hands

A gay couple was attacked in an apparent hate crime early Saturday morning in Austin, Texas.

Tristan Perry and Spencer Deehring were walking to their car around 2:45am after celebrating a friend’s birthday at Rain nightclub in downtown Austin.

The couple passed a man on the street who called them a homophobic slur. They told local news station KXAN they believe it was because they had been holding hands.

Deehring says he responded to the slur by saying something along the lines of “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you.”

At that point, Deehring says the man called out to his group of friends who were previously unseen. The mob began to follow the couple as they headed to their car.

The group began “yelling every expletive you can think of,” says Deehring, who told them, “I don’t have anything more to say to you guys, we’re just going home, leave us alone.”

And that’s when Perry was punched in the face suffering a broken nose and falling to the ground. While down, another in the group kicked Perry in the back of his head.

Deehring attempted to defend his boyfriend by tackling the men, but was knocked unconscious after being punched by members of the mob.

A bystander walking by may have saved their lives as the attackers fled upon being seen. The bystander called 911 and waited with the men until police and an ambulance arrived. Both men were hospitalized. 

Perry was treated for a cut on the back of his head, a broken nose, chipped teeth, and multiple bruises. He continues to experience memory lapses.

Deehring suffered several lacerations, bruises to the back of his neck and head, and swelling to his jaw and mouth.

The president of the Austin chapter of PFLAG, Anna Nguyen, told KXAN that while she has seen violence targeting LGBTQ people in Austin in the past, “It feels as if lately the frequency has ratched up quite a bit.”

“I think Austin as a community needs to step up its game and prove it’s one of the most LGBTQIA-friendly cities in the country by deed, and not just by words,” she added.

Statistics released last November by the FBI show an increase of LGBT-related hate crimes in Texas when comparing data from 2016 to 2017.

The couple has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help defray the medical costs.

On the GoFundMe page, after explaining the attack that landed them in the hospital, they write:

Today I ask for your help with the burden we have been given of medical expenses related to this experience. Both of us were transported in an ambulance and given emergency trauma care at a local hospital. Due to this we expect our bills to exceed the thousands of dollars due to receiving comprehensive radiological care. And we ask for your love and support during our difficult time. Any help you can give is immensely appreciated. Always spread love and positivity. End hate.

They also shared their story on Facebook wanting people to realize attacks like this can happen to anyone.

Additionally, as a result of sharing the news of the attack, Deehring came out to his family and loved ones.

Grateful for the support they’ve received since the attack, the couple say they have a message for others.

"Spread love, end all this hatred, end all this closed-mindedness always watch your surroundings, always be aware of your surroundings, don't walk alone," says Perry.  

And Deehring adds, “Be aware of your surroundings, but don't change who you are as a person, don't ever change who you are as a person and don't be afraid to go out there and explore the world, just as you are.”

Watch the report from KXAN below:


(h/t KXAN)

Two Texas Men Got Hate Crimes Charges For Robbing, Beating, & Sexually Assaulting Grindr Users

Two men from Texas have been charged for federal Hate Crimes after they used Grindr to rob, beat, and humiliate gay men.

In the first two weeks of December 2017, 19-year-old Daniel Jenkins and 24-year-old Michael Atkinson committed multiple instances of armed assault.

According to the Dallas News, the two men used fake profiles on Grindr to lure at least nine men, ages ranging from 19 to 57, to an apartment complex. Once there, the gay men were assaulted, taunted, and robbed at gunpoint.

The state attorney’s office says that at least five of the men were physically assaulted, one was sexually assaulted with the use of an object, and one was smeared with feces.

According to Insider, Jenkins and Atkinson were later arrested in August of 2018. They are still in custody to this day.

Now, the two men have recently been charged with federal hate crimes for their heinous deeds.

The two men were charged on Tuesday with conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping, and carjacking, according to a statement from the state attorney’s office. Plus, the two were also charged with brandishing a firearm, and aiding and abetting kidnapping, according to the Star-Telegram.

This 15-count indictment case is still ongoing and is being handled in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas.

We’ll keep you updated as the court case continues.

h/t: Dallas News, Insider, The Star-Telegram

London Police Are Looking For Men Who Attacked A Gay Couple On New Year's Day

Three thugs are in some deep trouble and the odds are stacked against them.

According to Metro News, a gay couple was attacked by a group of men. The victims, aged 28 and 31, were holding hands when they were attacked in the afternoon on New Year’s Day.

The two men suffered facial injuries and bruising after being attacked in the South Bank area of London. That said, the injuries were minor and don’t warrant hospital treatment.

According to DailyMail, London police say that the group of men ran in the direction of Oxo Tower around 2:30 p.m. after the incident. They also released an appeal asking for any information that could help catch the criminals and the above photo of the men. The image came from surveillance footage of the surrounding area.

All three men were described as white, in their mid-20s, and wearing hooded tops.

If anyone has any information about any of the suspects, you can tweet @MetCC, contact police at 101, or call Crimestoppers at 0800 555 111.

h/t: Metro News, Daily Mail

Hate Crime Suspect Arrested & Charged In Conjunction With Subway Attack

Earlier this week, Instinct reported on the violent homophobic attack on a New York subway train that left a young woman with a fractured spine.

According to The New York Daily News, the alleged assailant has been apprehended and charged with aggravated harassment and assault as a hate crime. 

Allah Allasheed, 54, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The assault occurred on November 20 aboard an E train in Queens.

The victim, a 20-year-old college student, tells the Daily News her friend “gave me a kiss on the cheek while she was making a Snapchat.”

That somehow triggered Allasheed, who flew into a rage, as he started screaming at the two young women.

“Don’t do that gay s--- in front of me!,” he yelled as he threatened the victims. “Do that one more time and watch what happens!”

The two students say they stood up to put some distance between themselves and the man, and that’s when he jumped up and ran towards them.

“I knew he was going to hit me,” the victim told The Daily News. “He punched me in the back. I turned around and before I could even defend myself …. he threw me back. My head hit the pole and my back hit the ground."

Allasheed apparently managed to escape when the train stopped at the next stop.

Hospitalized with a C7 vertebrae fracture near the base of her neck, the victim also suffered torn elbow ligaments trying to catch herself as she fell.

Treated at Elmhurst Hospital, she returned to school for end of semester exams. Nearly a month after the violent assault, she still wears a neck brace.

Allasheed was captured by the New York Police Department Hate Crime Task Force. According to reports, he confessed to the attack and the use of hate speech.

“I stood up and told her kiss her again you d--e (expletive) and watch what happens,” he allegedly told authorities, according to the Daily News. “I pushed the girl, she turned around and then she fell.”

The victim told the Daily News she is, of course, relieved the assailant has been arrested and charged. She also doesn’t want the incident to change her.

“Bad things happen, but good things happen all the time,” she said. “Hopefully I can move on from it.”

(h/t The NY Daily News)

Australian Police Are Offering $1 Million For Info On 1980s Death Of Gay Man

$1 million is being offered to anyone who can provide helpful information to solve a murder from the ‘80s.

In December of 1988, 27-year-old Scott Johnson met his untimely demise. At the time, Australian police believed that Johnson, who was openly gay, had committed suicide by jumping off a beach cliff. As such, the investigation into Johnson’s death was half-hearted.

The family of the US-born mathematician weren’t convinced that Scott ended his life. They believed, and still do to this day, that Scott was murdered.

“Unfortunately, like many other gay men in the 1980s, he got tragically unlucky…assailants killed him because he was gay,” Scott’s brother Steve Johnson told reporters, according to Ten Daily.

Throughout the next three decades, Steve and his family would advocate for a thorough investigation into Scott’s death. This includes a second inquest in 2012 that resulted in an open finding and a third inquest that found that Scott fell from the cliff’s top not because of a suicide attempt but because of actual or threatened violence based on sexual orientation.

This new discovery resulted in the creation of the Strike Force Welsford three months ago. This task force, led by Detective Inspector Peter Yeomans, is trying to re-investigate Scott’s murder with an intent and focus unseen in the last three decades.

In addition, Steve flew to Sydney to join the task force and New South Wales police as they announced a monetary reward for anyone who can provide valuable information for this case.

“There is someone out there who knows the truth, they know how Scott died and there’s a million dollars on the table for you to have the courage to come forward and help us solve this crime,” said NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller at the press conference.

“Someone knows what happened to Scott, either because they were present or because they heard of what happened from others who were present,” added Steve Johnson.

“It is likely that those who were involved in Scott’s death would have bragged about it given the culture of gay-hate among groups in Sydney at the time.”

“It’s 30 years to the day since Scott’s death. I encourage anyone who has any information to come forward and provide it,” he said.

“It’s horrendous to believe that these people are still out in our community – existing, living, free, while Scott … has died a terrible death.”

This Red State with a GOP House, Senate, & Governor May Pass LGBT Protection Bill.

For the first time, Indiana's governor is stating out loud their support for LGBT protection, support for legislation that would give judges power to impose tougher sentences on convicted persons for crimes motivated by factors such as race, religion, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.  But hat is the big issue with this proposal? It is whether protections should be extended to the transgender community. 

The biggest push for this law to include the entire LGBT/Queer community is from businesses.  Tourism leaders and many businesses are making their cases for hate crimes language to provide protections for gender identity. Indy Chamber, Visit Indy, Eli Lilly, the Pacers, and other groups and businesses are speaking up and signing letters emphasizing what they want to see the legislature produce.

One of the roadblocks may be House Speaker, Brian Bosma, who has gone on record to state that gender identity should cannot be a part of the protected classes if there is any hope for the crime law to pass since social conservatives at the Statehouse won’t negotiate or vote for the measure if gender identity is a part of any proposal.

What needs to be known about Indiana is that both the Senate and House are controlled by the Republicans.  Also, the Governor is a Republican. 

A debate over bias crimes legislation like this could further highlight the fractures in the Indiana Republican party since he Governor is supporting including all in this new bill and protection.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has stated on record that he believes the state’s hate crime language needs to include all LGBT community members, just as the executive branch’s employment policy does.

The new legislative session commences on Jan. 3.

Will all eyes be on the very republican Indiana?  Bosma recently ridiculed the new protection policy proponents to not bring "undue attention to our state" over specifics in the hate crime bill.

Indiana is one of just five states without a hate crimes law.

h/t:  indystar.com

Las Vegas Gay Couple Say Violent Attack Was A Hate Crime

A gay couple in Las Vegas, Nevada, were the target of a violent hate crime that sent them both to the hospital.

Charles Clements told local news affiliate FOX5 that when he picked his boyfriend Vincent up from work last Thursday night, they had no idea they were followed home.

As he was unlocking the front door of their home, Clements heard Vincent call his name. 

“I was about to unlock the door, the next thing I hear, he’s calling my name,” Clements said. “I come back, I see my boyfriend fighting with the guy.”

As two men attacked Vincent, the assault moved to the front porch of their home where a glass table was knocked over and shattered. It was then that one of the attackers reached for a shard of glass.

“He picked up the glass and I was like, ‘Don’t do that,’” says Clements. “He started stabbing my boyfriend in the back. The guy was kicking him in his ribs.”

According to Clements, the attack drew the attention of neighbors who watched from a distance but did nothing to intervene. “Neighbors, everybody just looking,” he said. “Nobody called the police.”

After the two men got in their car and drove away, Clements realized he was bleeding. At the hospital, they learned that the attackers had punctured Vincent’s lung and broken several ribs.

After calling 911, Vincent told police he recognized one of the men as someone who works with him at Walmart. 

“It was all about gay bashing,” Clements told FOX5. “The guy came up to my boyfriend’s job, calling him an abomination, calling him fag.”

“I never been through nothing like this in my life,” he added. “I was so scared.”

Clements is now frightened to continue living in their present home,  “I don’t want to be in this apartment no more because I’m afraid they’re going to come back.”

Clements’ uncle is currently helping the couple to find a new place to live.

Police are investigating the incident but no news on any arrests at this time.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help with the couple’s hospital bills and moving expenses.



(h/t FOX5 News)

French Rugby Players Show Support For Gay Rugby Legend Gareth Thomas

French rugby players are honoring a former teammate who was recently the victim of a hate crime.

A couple days ago, former rugby player Garrth Thomas shared that he was attacked by a homophobic teen. Thankfully, Thomas was able to defend himself and was able to resolve the issue with the help of Cardiff police.

“I want to say thank you to the police who were involved, who were very helpful and allowed me to do restorative justice to the people who did this because I thought they could learn more that way than any other way,” said Thomas.

Now, French players are going to honor Thomas, who played in France for Toulouse between 2004 and 2007, Cardiff police, and the quick and humane way that they resolved the issue.

According to the French Rugby Federation’s Vice President Serge Simon, French players will wear rainbow laces during their match against Fiji in support of the former athlete.

As Simon tweeted:

“Dear Gareth Thomas, all of French Rugby is with you regarding the homophobic molestation you’ve been victim of,” Simon tweeted.

“To show our support, the French rugby players will wear a rainbow shoe lace during the France — Fiji game on Saturday night.

“We’re all in with you in this matter.”

Former Rugby Player Gareth Thomas Says He Was The Victim Of A Hate Crime

Yesterday, former rugby player Gareth Thomas posted a video on Twitter sharing that he was attacked in Cardiff, Wales because of his sexual orientation.

In the video, Thomas says:

“This morning I’ve decided to make what I hope will be a positive video. Last night I was a victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality. Why do I want it to be positive? Because I want to say thank you to the police who were involved, who were very helpful and allowed me to do restorative justice to the people who did this because I thought they could learn more that way than any other way. And also to the people of Cardiff who supported me and helped me because there’s a lot of people out there who want to hurt us. But, unfortunately for them, there is a lot more that want to help us heal. So this, I hope, will be a positive message.”

In addition, Cardiff police later released a statement on Facebook sharing that they are aware of the situation.

The police also shared more information about the incident such as the facts that the attack happened around 9 p.m., that the assailant was a 16-year-old boy, and that he not only admitted to the attack but apologized for it.

As the statement added:

“Restorative justice is about putting victim needs at the centre of the criminal justice system, finding positive solutions to crime and encouraging young people to be accountable for the consequences of their actions.

A hate crime is any crime motivated by hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.

Hate crime has no place in society and has always been a priority for South Wales Police.

We encourage people, whether they are a victim or a witness of hate crime, to report it directly to South Wales Police : Heddlu De Cymru on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

Man Says Lyft Driver Pulled Out Gun, Used Homophobic Slurs, & Threatened to Kill Gay People

Andres Berreondo did what tens of thousands of us do daily, he ordered a car on a ride share app and waited for the driver.  Today, his experience is one that will have many in our community thinking twice about ordering a ride.

This time, he wasn't sure if he would make it out of his Lyft ride alive.  His trip from his Miami apartment this afternoon to a friend's office, transporting two large boxes causing him to sit in the front passenger seat, was one he was not expecting

"I can tell he was with an attitude, and even from the beginning with this bad energy," he said.

Here is Miami's NBC6 coverage and interview with Berreondo.

How do you react when the driver is not using the GPS?  I usually do strike up a conversation to see what they are thinking and why they are not using the directions provided.

He then pulled out a gun and told Berreondo, "I want to kill everyone that is gay."

I am not sure I would have been as calm as Berreondo was for a full 10 minutes, but the driver did have a gun. 

"I start getting scared and somehow he stops," he said. "He pulled me out like that and kicked me in the leg, I get out of the car.”

"The safety of our community is Lyft’s top priority, and the behavior described here is unacceptable. There is no place in the Lyft community for discrimination or violence of any kind. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we permanently deactivated the driver. We have been in contact with the passenger to offer our full support, and stand ready to assist law enforcement with any investigation." - Lyft to NBC6

Do you fear riding in a ride share / Lyft / Uber?

Do you take certain precautions while in a ride share vehicle?

Do you worry that the driver may be homophobic?


h/t:  NBC6