• Aled Rees

The night I became a hate crime statistic but I forgive you!

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

This is probably one of the darkest chapters in my life, yet one I feel that needs to be addressed.

Hate crime in any form is wrong, never did I think I would have become a victim of this, yet I did.

I had recently finished with my first ever boyfriend, if was not an easy break up. At the time of finishing with my ex a vast amount of faecal matter was hitting the proverbial fan.

If you think finishing with your ex was hard enough, try doing it when you move into your own flat, where not only were you about to live on your own for the first time but you also loose a vast amount of money from a misleading solicitor, stress levels were gradually developing.

Cue nervous breakdown! Yes, as a young man in my 20s I had experienced my first nervous breakdown, with my anxiety levels hitting its all-time high.

Due to this turbulent time of my life I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, which at the time I was very embarrassed and ashamed of my mental health condition, I clearly wasn’t right in the head, why me?

Thankfully as I’ve grown older and maintained my mental health, I have learnt to embrace it and ensure that I live a positive and fulfilled life, but let’s get back to that dark time.

It was a Saturday evening and a friend was celebrating her birthday with a garden party, followed by a trip to the city for a night of clubbing, dancing and high levels of intoxication.

I arrived at the party, which was in full swing, I grabbed a drink and socialised the night away.

I must admit I am a huge socialite and I always enjoy good party, especially if there is some form of alcoholic beverage available, I’m human and I love drink.

I am what you would call a social extrovert, behind closed doors I am in full on lock down, socialising is not even a priority and isn’t on the Cards, when I’m home I am the ultimate antisocial hermit.

I am the real-life Jekyll and Hyde, however saying this I bloody love a good night out, but it doesn’t half take it out of me!

The energy, the need to be funny, the centre of attention, the need to be heard!

I’m sure this all stems down to somewhere deep within my subconscious, where my inner Freudian child has a wanting to be heard, to be seen and to be taken notice of, however I’ll leave that when I need a psychiatrist.

The evening was going oh so well until I heard a very familiar voice, it was my first ex-boyfriend.

At first, and due to my immature nature at the time, I completely ignored him, I could not acknowledge his presence, childish I know.

We caught each other’s glances throughout the evening until the minibus arrived to take us to Swansea, what class, What distinction. Hey, it Carmarthenshire kids off to the big city, if it’s not a Minibus it would have been one of those 1hr hire limo’s that we used to hire to the school ball.

Still no conversation was had between us, me being the loudmouth that I am carried on chatting with everyone however I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

The night of intoxication and dancing had begun, I didn’t seem much of my ex from this point forward and spent the night dancing with my girls, my chikas.

We ended up in a well know night club in Wind St, at this stage I must add I wasn’t dressed what the straight would define as stereotypically gay, I wasn’t there to grab the attention of anyone and wasn’t interested in flirting with any man, woman or beast at the time.

All I wanted to do was drink and dance, however the more I got drunk the camper I got.

I started off as potentially passing off as straight to 4 pints in and I had miraculously become Julian Clary, Fabulous!

The girls and I danced the night away until I caught a guy looking at me from across the bar. I naturally ignored him and continued to dance with my girls.

In my head, at this time I didn’t think anything more of the guy staring at me, if anything I thought he fancied one of my girlfriends.

A group of boys walked past us on the dance floor and then I felt it, a large hand was on my shoulder.

All I remember at this point forward was lying on the floor, covered in blood, my own blood.

My face was swollen, it was throbbing, the pain was excruciating and just getting more and more agonising.

I tried opening my eyes but only one was working. I was in such sock, in such panic.

Had I lost an eye?

What had happened?

Unsurprisingly, I was in flood of tears, the doormen flew across the dance floor, took one look at me then dragged me to a back room and questioned me about what happened.

When I say dragged I literally was pulled by back of my shirt and dragged across the dance floor, while simultaneously giving the floor a clean! Something that clearly from the state of my clothes had not happened in years.

If anything, the doormen were more concerned that I was making a scene.

A fag had been attacked! Just get him out of here now!

I felt that with all the questioning and the urgency of removing me from the club that I had deliberately caused all this, I was to blame!

How dare I dance with a bunch of girls, be so camp and flaunt my homosexuality in the faces of the straights!

How they expected me to answer any questions at this stage was unbelievably ridiculous, as I sobbed like a baby, my clothes drenched in my own blood and the residue of the dance floor whilst also cradling my own swollen face as is throbbed with pain.

I sat in some cupboard of a room, surrounded by overly macho men, drenched in my own blood, face that resembled the elephant man and to top it off I was intoxicated, from the obvious amount of alcohol I had drunk but also the adrenaline and the shock of being attacked.

After I calmed down I remember the guy who had attacked me, I remembered a fist coming toward my face, I remembered him kicking me on the dance floor but most of all I remember him calling me a dirty fag!

A friend contacted my brother, who thankfully came to collect me from the club.

No police were called at this stage, like I said, the doormen were more concerned of getting me out and reduce the amount of drama in their club.

I woke up the next day, my face twice its natural size.

Blood drenched pillows, ripped clothes and the ultimate headache!

I mean this was the mother of all headaches, however this was understandable, But worst of all, had I just got beaten up? What?

Did I just had my head pulverised by some randomer who clearly hated me, for being me?

I rolled over, and who lay next to me, but my ex!

He stayed with me all night and made sure I was ok, however things were clearly over between us.

He left the apartment that morning and that was the end of that chapter.

Realistically, it took weeks for me to realise what had happened, that I had become the victim to some homophobic bastards actions.

The next morning, the morning that I woke up from my eventful night out, my parents forced me to report the incident to the police.

I must admit, I was hesitant going to the police.

Did I really want to make a fuss? Did I want to become a statistic? Why I really a victim? What happened? Questions flew around my mind like some sort of whirlwind.

The police interview was horrific, I felt like this was all my fault, I felt like I was deliberately making a scene. That I made this randomer beat me up for no reason whatsoever.

When did this happen?

Did you provoke him?

Did you come on to the guy?

What club was it?

Why where you there?

Why didn’t you come to us that night?

SOOO many questions and yet why do I feel like I’m to blame for all this?

The interview was done, and some incredibly unflattering photos of my face was taken for the case.

I still wonder to this day if those photos still exist in the archives of south wales police, I imagine from the state of my face they could be used as Halloween decorations in the station.

Too this day the guy who beat me up was never caught.

It funny, and you’re going to think I’m mad, but deep down inside me, I have forgiven the guy for beating me up!

I’ve forgiven him for his ignorance, I have forgiven him as I feel sorry for him and what a horribly small mind he must have and must be surrounded by similar minded people.

His life must be a hundred times worse than mine.

So I say out loud, I forgive you, I forgive you for fracturing my eye socket, I forgive you for your ignorance, I forgive you for being a homophobe and I forgive you for not understanding how fucking amazing I am.

On the plus side, as I did have a fractured eye socket, I did have to have intensive plastic surgery, so in fact I should thank my attacker for the facelift, this gay will now age gracefully, well one side of his face will anyways.

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