A young gay man was harassed and attacked in the streets of a small village in Scotland, but he had a message for the assaulter he shared on social media along with a picture of himself, smiling despite the blood on his face.
“To the wee c**t that called me a faggot across the main street then tried to attack me when i called him ‘hen’ we aw [sic] know who you are and you will get what’s coming to you—Trust it to be someone insecure with his own sexuality trying to take it out on someone secure in himself. Wish you well” Blair Wilson wrote on his Facebook page where he posted the selfie shortly after the attack took place on June 29.
Since then, the 21-year-old has received hundreds of messages of solidarity from all over the world, with many calling his response inspirational. “I live in Tennessee, the Bible Belt in America. And I do not feel safe. Especially with our politics lately. This made me smile. Rise above hatred and fear! I admire you so much and hope to have your bravery if ever confronted like this,” one user commented.
Wilson told the local news outlet Barrhead News he was walking down Neilston’s Main Street around 10.30 when one man called him a homophobic slur. He went up to the man to confront him, but the man then physically attacked him, leaving him with a cut on his nose. It was the first time he experienced this kind of homophobic attack, Wilson told Barrhead News.
“I thought, clearly, this person doesn’t realise how close Neilston is and I just wanted to post something so that, when he sobered up, he might see how much love and support I have,” he said. Wilson described posting the picture as liberating: “I knew, as soon as it happened, that I could either keep quiet and feel embarrassed about it or I could shame him over Facebook. As soon as I posted it, even though my nose was still bleeding, I didn’t care.”
“I did use some choice words in the post, but the message I wanted to get across is you need to stick up for yourself. Maybe don’t go getting yourself hurt, but show them you have friends, you are loved,” he added.
The authorities confirmed to the Scottish news outlet the attack had been reported and was under investigation.