South Yorkshire man launches homophobia support group after being punched on night out "for being gay"
A South Yorkshire man who was allegedly assaulted over the weekend for being gay has responded to the attack by launching a homophobia support group.
Andrew James says his Saturday night out in Rotherham on September 11 with his boyfriend and colleagues started out as a great way to blow off steam.
Sadly, it ended with a man allegedly punching him in the mouth and telling him: “You deserve it because you’re gay.”
“It just made me really annoyed,” said Andrew. “I didn’t even know I had been hit until I felt the blood around my mouth.
“It’s just really disappointing in this day and age. None of us have a magic fairy who shows up one day and asks us who we want to be. We are who we are. I don’t know how anyone can be mad about it.”
Looking to share his experiences, Andrew, a self-employed psychic medium, made a post to his 50,000 followers on Facebook.
But when he was struck by the support he received, and the stories of other people who had suffered abuse, he decided to strike out and make a difference.
Andrew has now set up the “LGBT+ Support Group” on Facebook, a private group where he hopes people can share their experiences with homophobia in a safe environment.
Andrew said: “I just wanted to create a space to offer more support. Only when I was a victim myself did I see there’s not enough support out there for the LGBTQ community.
“Let’s all work together and put a stop to homophobic abuse.”
Following the attack on Andrew, a man was arrested and subsequently released under investigation.