A gay man said that he was beaten up by an older man when the attacker thought that the victim was hitting on him.
Ryan Kelly, 26, said that he was leaving a bar in Douglas, Isle of Man, near 2:30 a.m. one January night.
He said that his phone’s battery was dead so he looked for a phone booth to call a taxi, when he bumped into a man in his 50s.
“At about 3 a.m. I bumped into this man who accused me of flirting with him,” Kelly told IOM Today, saying that the man was “quite hammered.”
“I just laughed it off, but he started getting more aggressive about it and said ‘You’re a faggot.’ He then grabbed me and punched me.”
“I was very aware of blood going down my face, but I couldn’t call the police,” he said, because of his phone battery.
He ran away and found a taxi and told the driver to call the police. He had to be taken to the hospital to treat a busted lip
Kelly said that while he was “lucky” that he didn’t lose any teeth in the attack, he’s now scared when he leaves his home.
“I try to put on a brave face,” he said. “It really scares me that someone is walking out there doing that kind of damage.”
The Isle of Man is a British Crown Dependency and not a part of the United Kingdom. LGBTQ people there have many of the same rights as those in the U.K., including civil rights protections and marriage equality.
Kelly said that even though progress has been made on the Isle of Man, the attack he suffered proves that “homophobia is still out there,” even though the attack “is not a true representation of island.”
Police said that the investigation is underway. The attack was not captured by security cameras and no arrests have been made.