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00:54 | 23rd July 2017

News: UK

Wed 4 Aug, 2010
By Sam Bristowe


I don't flaunt it, I don't push it in people's faces, but when people are coming up to you and hitting you for being gay... I didn't think it would happen now, I thought everything was gay-friendly. But it's not at all

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A gay barman has spoken out about the moment he was a victim of hate crime just hours before his home city of Leeds celebrated their annual LGBT Pride event.

Dane Holdsworth, 21, from Leeds, has revealed that late on Friday evening he was leaving work when he was questioned about his sexuality by two men in their 20s, after they spotted him wearing a “rainbow” wristband.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post about the evening Holdsworth reportedly said that the two men began the confrontation after noticing his wristband, leading them to ask “Are you queer?”

"I was not going to deny it and said yes, but just kept on walking as fast as I could. I just wanted to get away from them.

I thought they were going to walk on,but as they passed me one shouted "Faggot" and grabbed me from behind and dragged me to the ground," said Dane.

"One of them then sat on me and kept punching me in the face, while the other was kicking me in the ribs and stomach.

"I think it must have gone on for at least 15 minutes. Eventually I lost consciousness and when I came round one of them was dragging me across the ground. I could not retaliate, but when I came to they both ran off," said Dane.

"I managed to flag a taxi down to take me straight back to the flat I share in town with my partner John."

He was left with a black eye and bruising to his stomach and ribs.

BBC Look North also reported that the young barman believed he was bitten and strangled in the vicious attack also.

"I passed out while they were hitting me. I think one of them bit me and then they tried to strangle me."

This is the sixth time he has been attacked for his sexuality and this last time has
reportedly affected him not only physically but mentally too, adding: "I didn't choose to be gay, I can't help how I feel about people, I don't flaunt it, I don't push it in people's faces, but when people are coming up to you and hitting you for being gay... I didn't think it would happen now, I thought everything was gay-friendly. But it's not at all."

In contrast, the city celebrated a 23,000 strong crowd as people of Leeds celebrated equality and diversity at the annual LGBT Pride event.

West Yorkshire Police have confirmed that they are investigating the incident.

 

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