One day after work around midnight I, a gay man, was sitting on a bench at the 29th station bus loop. I was around 19 but looked much younger. Before I sat down I picked up an Xtra West newspaper (gay news paper) and sat down and started to read it. I noticed a man in his early 20’s standing around who saw me do this but didn’t think anything of it. Later I over heard him make a call to his buddy. He said into the phone, “Hey do you want to beat up a gay?” Though I heard this it didn’t really register, either I thought I might have heard it wrong or for some reason it didn’t click that he was talking about me. Later on a second man meets the first one and they both approach me. I am alone on the bench and it had very little lighting so I was pretty much in the dark. They repeatedly ask me if I have any weed and I keep saying no until the first man points to my right and says, “What’s that?” When I start to turn my head he starts to repeatedly punch my face. After a few hits he grabs my bag and starts to run so I chase them and he lets me take my bag back. If it was just about robbing me they wouldn’t have given me my bag back and probably asked me for my wallet. I dialed 911. The operator was disinterested and curt. So was the officer that came by, he cut me off mid sentence when my bus came and told me to get home. I know it wasn’t the crime of the century but a little empathy on their end might have been nice, this being the first altercation I’ve experienced. I ended up with cuts on the inside of my mouth where the punching pushed the inside of my mouth against my teeth that turned into sores making it hard to eat for weeks, split lip, and a nice big bruise on my face. I don’t read the Xtra West in public anymore.
Another time I was on the Skytrain with a few friends of mine, who are also queer. We were having a good time talking when I notice two guys in their late 20’s to early 30’s really paying attention to our conversation. One of the men said in a low tone, “You guys are a bunch of freaks” and “Makes me sick”. I think he may have said other things but he was saying them quietly which was weird and creepy. I didn’t let on that I heard because I didn’t want to escalate the situation. We left and they left. Glad nothing happened.