Man Beaten for Being Gay

Justin Alesna wanted to buy cigarettes. But ended up being assaulted.

When 23-year-old Justin Alesna walked into a convenient store for a pack of cigarettes in Detroit, Mich., last week, he had no idea he would end up as a victim of a gay hate crime. But after he was attacked with fists and gay slurs for supposedly standing too close to another man in line, Alesna decided to take his story online, recording a video about the experience in light of of the gay suicides and gay hate crimes happening all around the country.

What’s perhaps most startling about his account is that the store’s clerk and two onlookers did nothing to aid him as he was beaten about the head and body. He was eventually threatened at gun point before being asked to leave the store by both the assailant and clerk, who referred to him as “it.”

Alesna, who appears with visible bruises and a swollen eye – doctors say he may need surgery – tells his story here (please note that some language may not be suitable for work):