A gay couple were reportedly verbally and physically assaulted by a group of teenagers in the Shaw area of Washington D.C. on 7 August.
Content warning: This story includes topics that could make some readers uncomfortable.
They are referred to in the police report as just Robert, 25 and Antonio, 23.
The couple were on their way to Banneker pool and Kiki, a local gay bar.
Antonio and Robert were said to have been walking to a bus stop on Sunday evening when the attack took place.
There were around five males and two females in the group.
Based on the appearance of the victims, the teenagers are believed to have assumed their sexualities and called them “monkeypox f*****s,” as well as other homophobic slurs.
The couple are then said to have turned around to address the teens and decided against it.
That was when one of the male teens allegedly approached and struck Robert on the forehead.
He fell to the ground and was later apparently hit again, breaking his glasses.
Antonio was also reportedly punched in the face by another adolescent male.
A woman called the authorities as she witnessed the incident from her balcony.
The attackers fled the scene by the time the police arrived.
The females in the group apologised to the couple, but the apology was refused.
Robert told Metro Weekly: “I was kind of p**sed and said something along the lines of, ‘This is who you hang out with? That’s f**ked up.’”
Robert stated homophobic attacks in Washington D.C. had increased recently.
In recent years, figures from the FBI have shown one in five hate crimes in the US is motivated by anti-LGBTQ +bias.
“I’ve actually have had more experiences of homophobia the past couple of months than I have ever before, just this summer alone,” he said.
Antonio added: “There is more overt homophobia here.”
Galop is an LGBTQ+ charity there for those who have experienced abuse or have been the victim of a hate crime. It can be contacted Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm on 0207 7042040 or at HateCrime@galop.org.uk. More information is available here.