A gay man from Massachusetts has recounted the terrifying moment he was punched by a complete stranger on his own front lawn for flying a Pride flag.
The incident occurred at the end of June when Tom Anderson and his husband Jacob put a Pride flag up outside their home, Boston25News reports.
The Taunton residents had the flag up for just an hour when a man driving past stopped, got out of the car and attacked Tom.
The attacker swore at him, called him a name and punched him in the face before getting back into his car and driving away.
The Massachusetts gay man was shocked when he was punched for putting up a Pride flag.
“I was kind of in a state of disbelief, like really, I’m in my own yard,” Tom told the local news station.
The gay man was left without his two front teeth and in need of stitches after the incident.
I was kind of in a state of disbelief, like really, I’m in my own yard.
Jacob, who witnessed the attack, said its as “definitely a hate crime just based on the words he used”.
The couple contacted police and filed a report, but the man has not yet been found. They are hoping police will be able to track down the assailant.
“I’m more worried about him getting away with it and thinking, ‘Oh this is OK to do,’” Tom said.
The couple has received gifts from friends and strangers since the incident.
The couple have been heartbroken since the attack, but the local community has rallied around them in an effort to show them that they are loved and accepted.
Tom and Jacob have received gifts from friends and strangers, with somebody even gifting them a home security system.
They originally hung the Pride flag outside their home as it was approaching the end of Pride Month – but the attack has inspired them to keep it up even longer.
“I want to just keep it up all year long now,” Tom said.
He added: “It’s not just gay people, it’s so many different people are just targeted because of who you are.”
Local police have said they are investigating the incident but the attacker has not yet been found.