Williamsburg—and much of New York in general—has seemingly become a safe space for LGBTQ-identifying individuals over the last few years. However, two local men found out the unfortunate reality on Monday evening that hate towards same-sex couples still exists in our progressive city.
According to the New York Daily News, Tanner Gardella (25) and Gino Boffa (26) were walking down bustling Grand Street near Bedford Avenue at around 6:10 p.m. when two teenage boys, ages 15 and 13, “walked by them, snickering about the older man’s laugh and skinny jeans”. One of the boys yelled “Look at that f—-t’s pants,” which led Boffa to stop and ask them to repeat themselves.
“Then it went from 0 to 60,” Boffa told the New York Daily News. “They shoved us and started spitting at us calling us ‘f—-t.’ That’s when one of them picked up the brick.”
Boffa and Gardella started to run but soon realized that not only were the two teens chasing them, but 6 others had joined. The New York Daily news reports “One of the teens hurled a brick, striking Gardella in the leg, officials said. He was not seriously hurt”.
This is definitely not the kind of encounter you would expect to see on a Monday evening in this area of Williamsburg.“It’s crazy to us… we were so shook up,” Boffa told The New York Daily News “We didn’t do anything. We were just enjoying our day, and they attacked us solely because we are homosexuals.”
The two teen boys have been arrested for assault and aggravated harassment and are being charged as juveniles.