A Mississippi man’s jaw was broken in two places during a brutal beating because his attackers thought he was gay, according to his family.
Trevor Gray’s jaw was wired shut after the horrifying attack in Waynesboro, Mississippi, on April 12.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Gray met alleged attackers Landon McCaa and Toman Sion Brown at a local bar.
Mississippi man attacked ‘because he was different’
Gray was part of a group that went on to continue drinking at McCaa’s home when the bar closed, but some of the men turned on Gray and decided to attack him.
A video of the attack filmed on a mobile phone was circulated on social media, showing what appears to be McCaa repeatedly punching Gray.
The victim’s brother Cruz Gray alleged that the attack was motivated by sexuality, noting that Brown called him a “queer” during the beating.
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He told the newspaper: “This was an act of cruelty for no reason, because he was different.
“He’s not gay, but it wouldn’t matter if he were. No one deserves for this to happen to them.”
McCaa and Brown have been charged with aggravated assault, but Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley told the Clarion-Ledger that they could also face a federal hate crime charge.
Thousands raised to cover medical expenses
The community has rallied round Gray in the wake of the attack, with a GoFundMe set up to cover his medical expenses raising more than $14,000.
One donor said: “Not only is this such a dastardly deed, I have a son who is gay and I’m donating to show my unconditional love and support for him as well as Trevor. God holds all of His children in his love.”
Another added: “You did not deserve this, and there are people that you may never meet that love you and are praying for your physical and emotional health following this horrific attack. I am one of those people.”
In a statement to the newspaper, Trevor Gray said: “For as long as I can remember, my family has taught me to see the best in others.
“My peace in this situation comes from that. So, for those wondering, I’m not angry or vengeful; I’m not sad. I’m optimistic. The events of that night are small when weighed against the incredible amount of love and support people have shown me.
“My mouth will be wired up for the next several weeks, so if you see me and I don’t smile, know that I’m smiling on the inside. Most importantly, believe in the good, give someone a hug, and stay positive.”