A non-binary person was violently attacked in Shrewsbury by two men in what they believe was a targeted hate crime.
Content warning: This story may include topics that could make some readers feel uncomfortable.
Will Falshaw, a staff member at Henry Tudor House in Barracks Passage, was on their way home from a night out at around 3:30am on 25 September.
After collecting a takeaway, the 30-year-old was targeted by a pair of men near The Anchor Pub.
Falshaw told the Shropshire Star: “I went out and had a couple of drinks. I’d had a nice evening. I had just been for a takeaway when I noticed this lad who had threatened me before.
“He was with another lad. They started giving me grief and then just attacked me. The[y] knocked me to the ground and were kicking me in the face. It went on for about a minute. I didn’t see which way they went.
“My face was all black and blue and I had bruised ribs. I went into work the next day but was sent home when they saw the state of me.”
Falshar believes that their ordeal was the result of the two men discriminating against their “gender exploration”.
“It’s related to my gender exploration. I’m gender fluid. For work I dress more masculine, but the rest of the time I’ll be sporting high heels and a dress,” they explained.
One of the men was familiar to Falshar, who said they had issues with them at a previous venue where he was eventually banned.
They added: “I’ve spoken to a couple of landlords I know and hopefully they’ll be able to sort out putting him on Pubwatch.”
Falshar identifies as non-binary and uses he, she or they pronouns.
Despite the incident, they believe Shrewsbury is a safe town and that things like this are rare occurrences.
“I’m just trying to get on with my life now, but they need to know you cannot behave like this. You can’t go around hitting people,” Falshar shared.
GAY TIMES has reached out to West Mercia Police for comment.
Galop is an LGBTQ+ charity there for those who have experienced abuse or have been the victim of a hate crime. They can be contacted Monday to Friday from 10am-4pm on 0207 7042040 or at HateCrime@galop.org.uk. You can find out more about them here.