An Air Force veteran, Ryan Gierach, says his neighbors have a long history of discriminating against him because of his sexuality, reported KTLA 5 News.
The San Pedro, California resident said the abuse started once he moved into the neighborhood two years ago.
“When I came here my neighbors directly across from me began calling me names — all of them revolving around gay epithets,” he said.
Gierach claims his neighbors have yelled homophobic slurs, and threw garbage at him. He said they even physically assaulted him.
Gierach said the abuse got worse once the neighbor hung flyers around the neighborhood calling him a pedophile. The Air Force veteran turned journalist said he is used to discrimination, but is fighting so he can be treated with respect.
“For 20 years now I’ve covered this sort of thing happening to other people,” he said. “And it hurt me deeply every time it happened to other people. To be attacked for being a loving person is perverse.”
Gierach said that he has filed multiple reports with the Los Angeles Police Department. Police confirmed that they are investigating for battery, but have failed to make contact with the suspects. After showing up to the accused neighbors homes, police said they were unable to meet with them.Luckily, not all of his neighbors are hateful. Some have rallied behind Gierach to show their support.
“It’s a sad situation, and we’re not going to let it happen, because if you mess with one of us you mess with all of us,” neighbor Aiden Garcia-Sheffield said.