For every story of joyous pride and celebration, there is one of crime and persecution just like this one.
Tristen Torrez, a 14 year-old gay student from Defiance in Ohio, had never made a secret of his sexuality but it seems that even celebrating his sexuality is enough to garner a violent reaction.
Tristen told WOTL 11 news: “This was my official way of saying I was gay and not trying to hide it. He came up behind me, dumped water on me, pulled me down the bleachers, grabbed the flag off my neck, beat me with it, and choked and hit me a few times. He also used a slur once or twice.”
One of the more sinister parts of the story is that whilst sat with his friends on the bleachers prior to the attack, he was forewarned that it was about to happen.
Defiance Middle School issued a statement saying that the matter had been dealt with swiftly but it only goes to highlight that homophobia is rife and whilst Tristen wasn’t seriously injured, the actions of one bigoted student then filter down to other kids who might be struggling with their sexuality and simply adds to their fears.
On the first day of Pride month, this story is testament to the fact that even in the USA, the supposed bastion of freedom, kids still can’t celebrate being queer without being afraid of retribution.
Video below, contains content which some readers may find triggering: