A Washington, D.C., gay couple was attacked on Sunday by a pair of teenagers who reportedly called them “monkeypox f****ts.”
The couple says they were walking in the Shaw neighborhood when they encountered a group of teens who began calling them “monkeypox f****ts.” According to Metro Weekly, Robert, 25, and Antonio, 23, were followed down the street by one of the teens. When Robert turned to confront him, the teen punched him in the forehead, knocking him to the ground.
A second teen then punched Antonio in the face. The first teen struck Robert again, breaking his glasses. An onlooker called the police, and most of the teens fled. However, two young women who had been with the group approached Robert and Antonio to apologize.
Get the Daily Brief
The news you care about, reported on by the people who care about you:
“One of them said their dad was gay and it was messed up that they attacked us. But I was still pretty pissed at the whole incident, so I let them pass,” Robert said.
Police took the couple to the emergency room at Howard University Hospital, where they remained for six hours to ensure they didn’t have concussions. Antonio also received stitches to his upper lip.
“I mainly feel shock that this could happen in D.C. in broad daylight, only three or four blocks from U Street, walking from a gay bar to public transit,” said Robert.
“I’ve actually had more experiences of homophobia the past couple of months than I have ever before, just this summer alone,” he continued. “A few months ago, a friend of mine and I were on the Metro coming home on the Red Line from a pool party. And some guy told us not to—he just said some homophobic things to us, saying that where he was from, they ‘kill gay people’ or something along those lines.”
“And then even as we were walking down 7th Street, just minutes before, someone shook his head at us and said, ‘That ain’t right,’ which I think was a reference to what Antonio was wearing, which was just a crop top. So yeah, it’s just kind of crazy that it seems like there’s been way more homophobia than I’ve experienced before, even growing up in Texas.”
“There is more overt homophobia here,” added Antonio, who has lived in D.C. since 2020. “There are more altercations on the street or verbal comments from random people versus at home.”
As the U.S. monkeypox outbreak has spread primarily amongst men who have sex with men, experts have warned against stigmatizing the LGBTQ community. Of course, that has not stopped, far-right conservatives like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from using the outbreak to attack the LGBTQ community.