Eugene Lovendusky, founder of the group Queer Rising, spent much of the past month protesting New York City’s recent uptick in gay-bashings, but over the weekend, he became the victim of yet another bias attack. The 28-year-old Queens resident says he was leaving a club near Times Square with his boyfriend and a friend early on Saturday morning when a group of teenagers started yelling “faggot” at them. “By instinct, I turned around and said, ‘You can’t say that to me,’” Lovendusky tells DNAinfo. He says that’s when one of the teens punched him in the jaw, knocking his glasses off his face.
Lovendusky called 911, and a short time later, police arrested 19-year-old Manuel Riquelme, who was found at a pizzeria with friends on 40th and Ninth Avenue. Riquelme has been charged with felony assault as a hate crime and misdemeanor aggravated harassment. “It’s further proof that anyone no matter how strong or vocal you are in the community can be a victim,” Lovendusky told the Post. “If anything this will only strengthen my resolve.”