Last October, gay student Will Mayrick was forced to apologise for being gay, threatened with being stabbed and strangled on public transport in London.
This month, his attackers pleaded guilty - but because they are underage and admitted wrongdoing they avoided jail time.
At the Bexley Magistrate Courts in London, the 16and 17-year-olds received a referral order of 12 months.
Since the incident, Mayrick has been using his experience to prevent future attacks. He has volunteered with Diversity Role Models, a charity that goes into schools to deliver LGBT+-inclusive lessons. Role models tell pupils their stories about coming out, understanding their identity and being LGBT+.
Mayrick was attacked last year on the way to popular queer club night Sink the Pink.
Speaking to Gay Star News about the attack, he describes the cruel nature of it:
We’d met some friends and then we were on the tube, dressed up in fancy dress. I covered myself up in a big parker, you couldn’t see my outfit.
These guys got on the tube just before North Greenwich where we were going to get off. They walked on and started shouting abuse at my friend who stood up. The attackers got face to face with him. Which is when I got up and said ‘come on guys, give it a rest’
He got me in a headlock so tight that I couldn’t breathe. They were telling me to apologise [for being gay]. At the same time the guy was reaching into his jacket and making gestures to pull out a knife and they were threatening to stab me.
Inside I was like – I’m not going to do that. Nobody should ever have to apologise for being gay or LGBT+. But I thought if I don’t apologise – I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Far from being bitter, Mayrick believes that if the young men who attacked him had been given LGBT+ inclusive education, then the attack could have been avoided.
I still get upset about the attack – but I’m not going to let that beat me
Watch what happened when Mayrick told teenagers about his experiences.
If you experience or witness hate crime on the London transport network, text 61016 or call 101 to report it. If you are in immediate danger, call 999. Alternatively, locations of hate crimes can be traced using an Oyster or debit card.
Just been at a hate crime event with the Met police + they told me something really useful.
If you’re on a bus + y… https://t.co/0sl8QvF6R8
— Patrick Strudwick (@Patrick Strudwick)