20-year-old Brandon White stepped forward today to speak about the beating incident that has galvanized the gay community in Atlanta.
“I want to see something done. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I went through,” White said at a packed midday news conference.
White was the man seen in a viral video being brutalized by three unidentified men who punched and kicked him while they shouted anti-gay slogans. The 3 attackers are reportedly members of a local street gang called the “Jungle Boys” and the 1029 Jack City gang.
White said he didn’t report the incident to the police initially until he saw the video go viral on the Internet.
“I don’t bother anyone. I felt that if a straight person could walk to the store and not have a problem, I should be able to do the same thing,” White said.
In the video, which was first posted on Worldstarhiphop.com, White, wearing tight black “skinny jeans”, was ambushed by 3 gang members outside a convenience store on McDaniel Street in the “Pittsburgh” area of Atlanta on Saturday.
A man off camera can be heard repeatedly yelling “No f*ggots in Jack City!”
The FBI is investigating the case as a hate crime based on the anti-gay slogans heard in the 30-second video.
White, who is seeking therapy for his emotional scars, gave this advice to others who are victims of homophobic violence: “Say something. Speak to someone. Don’t hide it. You shouldn’t have to. This is 2012.”
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call Zone 3 police officers at 404-624-0674 or to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.