A gay man said this week that he may never return to Detroit’s annual Pride festival after he was beaten because of his sexuality while attending the event over the weekend.
Christin Howard, 20, told WXYZ that that he was at Motor City Pride festival on Sunday when eight men began circling him. He said that they commented on his hair, used homophobic slurs, and threatened violence.
“Then somebody said they had a gun,” he recalled.
Video shows the men kicking and punching Howard until he falls to the ground.
“I just thought I was going to die,” he explained. “At one point, I thought they was going to kill me.”
Howard escaped with a broken finger, and a bloody eye. He said that he had not slept since the attack, and would no longer be able to work as a hair stylist until his hand healed.
While he is a strong supporter of the annual Pride event, Howard wasn’t sure that he would be able to return.
“I’m kind of iffy about it now,” he remarked. “Because I don’t want that same thing to happen again. What if the same guys are down there?”
The Detroit Police Department planned to investigate the attack as a possible hate crime. WXYZ reported that the case was the first incident of violence in the Pride event’s 40-year history.
Watch the video below from WXYZ, broadcast June 10, 2014.