JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens — A teacher was beaten and called a derogatory word for gay men just hours after celebrating at the Queens Pride Parade Sunday in Jackson Heights.
Brandon, who does not want his last name released, spoke to PIX11 about the ordeal.
“I went to Queens Pride with one of my good friends," Brandon said. "We were hanging out. These two men saw me. One of them approached me. One of them says, 'F— you, you f—ing f----t.' And before I could say anything back, he punched me in the face."
The 25-year-old teacher from Queens said he blacked out during the assault on 37th Avenue. When he woke up in a restaurant, his assailants were gone.
"It’s shocking but at the same time, it’s not," Brandon said.
In a neighborhood well known for its diversity, openness and tolerance, the bartender at the Hombre Lounge said news of an anti-gay attack is unsettling, to say the least.
“All of us tell each other: help each other, be careful walking in the street,” Luis Magno said.
Brandon, a third-grade New York City school teacher, suffered a busted lip and other bumps and bruises.
“It’s crazy, because people should be able to express themselves," Brandon said. "It doesn’t matter if you like men or women. Just live your life."