News (USA)

Stranger sucker-punches gay man while shouting about “homosexuals” just before Pride Month

Jack Calos
Jack Calos Photo: Screenshot NBC Boston

A 25-year-old man in the Boston area was sucker-punched in the face last Tuesday in a homophobic attack on the eve of Pride Month.

Jack Calos was riding the subway to work and listening to music when a stranger approached him and punched him in the face.

Calos says the man backed up and asked, “You want to know what the biggest problem in America is right now? You homosexuals.”

The victim told NBC Boston the punch to his forehead left him dazed and confused but he was able to yell at his attacker and get a photo of him before he exited the train. Calos says he stayed on the train for a few more stops and got off at Copley Plaza downtown, where he found a transit ambassador and broke down telling his story.

Calos reported the incident to Transit Police. Paramedics arrived on scene with an ambulance to examine him.

“I was just very shocked and obviously in pain,” he said. “It was a pretty nice punch, and just confused. And I’m still very confused.”

Calos says there was no outward indication that he was gay which may have provoked his attacker.

“There was nothing alluding to my sexuality at all,” Calos said of his appearance that day. “There must have been something about me that he made an assumption on and I became a target.”

While his injury is healing, Calos says the incident has left him shaken up and led to sleepless nights. He’s also wary of riding the subway or walking through town at night. He hopes sharing his story will help the healing process and serve as a warning to others to stay vigilant.

Nina Selvaggio with Greater Boston PFLAG says the assault on Calos was not an isolated incident.

“We need to ensure that public safety entities understand that this is happening, maybe even more than they can comprehend, because that’s the only way we’re going to get services and resources and attention paid to it,” she said.

Boston Transit Police confirmed their open investigation into the attack but didn’t comment further.

Despite the trauma following the assault on the eve of Pride Month, Calos says it’s important to stay positive.

“I’m ready to celebrate Pride and, be as loud and proud as I can be,” Calos said. “And I even feel more motivated this year, to celebrate and just be myself.”

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