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‘Homophobia is a real thing’: B.C. student says he was attacked for being gay

Click to play video: 'Nanaimo RCMP arrest one person after alleged assault on student' Nanaimo RCMP arrest one person after alleged assault on student
Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a Vancouver Island student was assaulted at an off campus party last weekend. The victim says his attackers made homophobic slurs -- and as Kylie Stanton reports -- the incident now being investigated as a possible hate crime – Mar 30, 2022

WARNING: Some readers may find the details and images in this post disturbing. Discretion is advised.

A B.C. student is now recovering at home after what he calls a homophobic attack at a house party in Nanaimo this past weekend.

Spencer Frey, who attends Vancouver Island University, said he was at the party with a friend and hadn’t been there long when someone approached him.

“When we get inside, there was less people that I’m more familiar with than usual,” Frey told Global News.

He said he was standing beside the ping pong table and someone bumped him on the shoulder.

“I turn and he goes ‘you’re disgusting,” Frey said. Another party-goer then called him a homophobic slur. Frey responded to the man, who then walked away.

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They stayed at the party Frey said and he didn’t think much of the encounter.

Suddenly he felt someone grabbing his behind — a different man.

“I looked to the side and the guy was licking his lips, all gross,” Frey said.

They decided to make their way out of the house when another person approached him, saying he had been looking at him all night, and before Frey could even respond, he says he was punched in the temple.

“I don’t remember anything,” he said.

Spencer Frey shows off the bruising and damage to his eye. Submitted
Spencer Frey shows off the bruising and damage to his eye. Submitted
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His friend told him he lifted up his wine bottle before someone took it out of his hands and that’s when multiple people “jumped on (me).”

Frey said his bruises show he received multiple blows to the face. His friend wasn’t even sure what was happening to him.

“We got to the front door … I had to leave my shoes there because we had to get out quick,” Frey said.

The confrontation spilled out onto the front lawn where Frey said there was a lot of screaming. Others have told him the group of people were yelling homophobic slurs.

It wasn’t until the next day that Frey went to the hospital when his face was swollen and he felt faint and dizzy. He was there for about five hours and thankfully, didn’t need too much medical treatment.

Frey did contact Nanaimo RCMP. Const. Gary O’Brien confirmed the investigation is being treated as a possible hate crime and a 19-year-old man has now been arrested on one count of assault.

“He actually turned himself into the detachment (and) he was released on conditions,” O’Brien said. “His court date is set for May 24 of this year.”

“Violence of any kind is unacceptable, and especially when it involves individuals who have allegedly been targeted because of their sexual preference. We are aggressively pursuing this investigation and have reached out to the victim to ensure he is supported as the investigation progresses.”

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In a statement, the university said it is committed to creating a space where all are welcome and feel like they belong. However, Frey said he has no plans to return to school. He’s packed up his residence room and will be finishing the rest of his semester online.

Frey said he didn’t leave the party right away because this is not a new occurrence for him. He said he’s been called homophobic slurs before.

“I guess I’m good at just brushing it off,” he said.

However, this is the first time he has been physically attacked and he never thought it could happen to him.

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“I want other people to know that it’s still a real thing. Homophobia,” Frey said.

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