This guy was caught on camera asking a man if he was gay and then attacking him
While most of us would like to live in a world where homophobia is a thing of the past, that's sadly not the case.
A survey cited by The Guardian last year found that, even in 2018, large numbers of the LGBTQ+ community in the UK were being offered conversion therapies, with 2% of respondents saying they'd had to go through them and a further 5% admitting to being offered them.
The effects of homophobia are reflected in the lifespan of members of the LGBTQ+ community, who, because of the continued persecution they face, are at a greater risk than cisgender, straight people of taking their own lives. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine, for example, found that LGBTQ+ youth have a higher risk of suicidal ideation and self-harm.
Although the community is being recognized more, legally and socially, until we live in a world where "coming out" is treated with the name nonchalance as announcing a passion for crochet, action needs to be taken to call out homophobia in all its forms - regardless of whether it comes from someone at the bottom or the top of society.
Take, for instance an incident that occurred early on Sunday in Salt Lake City, Utah, where a man was filmed questioning 29-year-old Sal Trejo about his sexuality after referring to him by a homophobic slur on Sunday morning.
When Trejo corrected his assailant and asked to be referred to correctly, he turned violent:
In the eight-second clip, which Trejo subsequently posted to his Twitter account in the hope of identifying his attacker, the individual says to the 29-year-old, "Are you gay, though?"
"Oh, I am," Trejo replies.
"Oh, then you're gay," the individual says.
"Yeah, but you called me a [faggot]," Trejo says, correcting him before he was violently struck.
In the caption for the video, Trejo revealed that he was not the only one who had been subject to abuse, writing, "My friends and I were assaulted by this homophobic man in downtown Salt Lake City last night."
The clip subsequently went viral and users of the micro-blogging website were quick to comment on the assault:
Trejo's decision to share the clip also helped the police to successfully identify the man featured, and he subsequently posted an update about the situation:
Trejo provided more information about the incident to Buzzfeed News. He said that it took place while he and his friends were waiting on an Uber. They overheard the man say on the phone that he was "standing by the gay guy in the camel coat." In response, Trejo's friends challenged him, and he launched into a full-on homophobic tirade.
"It was weird for someone to say something like that and it very quickly escalated on his end to calling us faggots and calling the girls who were with us fat pigs," Trejo said.
After recording the incident, the man, who Trejo said appeared to be drunk, welded a knife at the group before getting into a BMW and driving away.
The man is reported to have handed himself in to authorities after the video went viral.