Victim of Anti-Gay Beating: Violence Against LGBTs Has to Stop

Damian Furtch, a 26-year-old aspiring actor and model, suffered what he believes to be an anti-gay attack last Sunday in New York City’s West Village. The police are now investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Furtch was attacked at around 4:30AM on Sunday morning. He had just finished a stint at the nearby Pink Tea Cup restaurant and, after going into McDonald’s for a meal with a friend, had stepped outside to make a phone call when he was set upon by two men.

Writing on his Facebook page where he also posted pictures of his injuries, Furtch said, “I thought I was safe in the city I loved but apparently wearing fluorescent colored clothing and pink shoelaces really bother some f—–g a–holes to blind side me and hit me.”

Furtch, a 6-foot-4 athletic young man, is described by his employer in the New York Daily News as a “gentle giant.” The report also notes that Furtch had only recently moved to New York from California.

Furtch has now recounted the incident for LGBT media group GLAAD.

From GLAAD’s blog:

My name is Damian Furtch, and I was violently attacked on March 27 by two men in the West Village. My friend and I were at the local McDonalds ordering food when I noticed two men staring at us. My friend and I ordered our food and waited for our order to be filled. I stepped outside to make a phone call in an effort to avoid the tension in the restaurant and remove myself from the situation.  The two gentlemen stepped out after me and asked if I had a problem. I told one of them that I had stepped out just to use the phone and had no problem with him or his three friends. Then, all of a sudden the second gentleman hit me on the right side of my face causing me to stumble. Then I felt three punches to the face.

Police have released silent video surveillance footage of the attack. The video can be found below. Reader discretion is advised in deciding whether to view the footage.

More from Damian via GLADD:

After the attack, I stumbled back into the McDonald’s and told my friend that we needed to go to the hospital because I had been attacked. We then rushed to Roosevelt Hospital where I received medical attention.

The attack against me is part of the larger issue of violence against gay and transgender people in New York City.  While I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story, I hope to shed light on the larger issue of violence against my community. This has to stop. Under no circumstance should a person be attacked for their sexual orientation.

You can read more on how this attack has affected Damian and GLADD’s involvement in publicizing his story here.


Photo in the public domain used under Fair Use Terms.


Petra Luna
Petra Luna6 years ago

People are people. It's past time to treat each other correctly w/o hate.

leanne mcivor
leanne Torio6 years ago

So disgusting - leave the gays alone - grow up and grab a brain - everyone is equal in the eyes of you know who!

Don Go
Don Go6 years ago

Okay this seems to be getting out of control.

Alice B., I understand that responding to trolls is pretty useless, but the fact is if we just let them troll, they'll end up turning into spam. In the end, they're not the only ones trolling, so are we, because we like to talk and state our opinions. To them, we're trolls, so let them troll and let them argue. In the end, it's the people who act who leave an impact, but people are driven to act because of trolls. Good for you, trolls. You're counter-effective.

To Pooch, you're full of bull. People in general are manipulative, independent of any classifying stereotype. Either you're manipulative or you're not. Either you have dignity, or you don't. Either you have the decency to keep your fists to yourself, close your mouth and tie your hands before you start saying and writing insulting things, or you do what you're doing just like those men in the video are doing.

The world is full of intolerance and disrespect, but only because people are inevitably different from one another. No matter how you feel, all of you, I pray for you guys every night. It's your life, and I just hope you find some peace of mind.

Allan Yorkowitz
.6 years ago

Like anywhere else, people stink.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

The mentality behind being homophobic is that you have the right to beat up anyone who is not made in your image. I hope the authorities use the video and witnesses to track down the attackers. When do we get past our fears and treat one another humanely?

Kris Shanahan
Kristy Shanahan6 years ago

I am VERY ANGRY at our so-called Christian churches (not really Christian at all -nothing like Christ-they make up their own doctrine) that spread the hatred and condone and propagate that this is OK.

Donna S.
Donna Sheehan6 years ago

People amaze me! Why do they think it is their right to attack someone just because of the way they look or are dressed? What is wrong with our society that so many people think it is okay to bully or beat others? It makes me question how these people are being a household of bigots perhaps? In this day and age I have such a hard time understanding why people just can't let people alone. Live and let live. Why should others care about something that has totally nothing to do with them? Come on people!

Hope Damien is better by now and hope that life improves for him and he doesn't have to deal with creeps like these ever again. People are so close-minded!

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

My ex husband got through his senior year in high school in a really tough bad school by making a deal with the biggest bruiser he could find--act as my bodyguard to make sure I don't get beat up and I will help you meet the demands of your teachers so you can get through the academic requirements of the school. The deal worked.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

The motivation of homophobes is baffling to me. Live and let live, is so easy for all. Sorry, Damian, for the cruel beating/behavior. You have lots of straights who are with you.

wooddragon xx
wooddragon xx6 years ago

What a bunch of idiots!
I hope Damian gets well very soon. Blessings & Light to you...