A New York City drag queen who was out of drag and hanging with friends Saturday night says he was brutally beaten by a group of three to four men in an unprovoked attack on 45th Street in Hell’s Kitchen.
Brandon Ballone, who performs in Queens regularly as JizzaBella, told ABC 7 he suffered a torn ear, a slashed wrist, and locked jaw in the attack. He said he doesn’t remember much of it because it was so traumatic.
“As we passed them, they must’ve come up behind me with a glass bottle they had in their hand,” Ballone said, explaining that he and his friend were walking on the sidewalk around 2am when the attack happened. “When I covered my face from the blows it tore a tendon in my hand.”
Police are now investigating the the beatdown as a bias attack.
A GoFundMe page set up to assist Ballone with paying medical bills related to the attack adds: “Taken by ambulance to the hospital, he needed emergency surgery to the severed tendons on his hand as well as stitches on his head. Now he is unable to eat due to trauma to his teeth and jaw.”
Though the assailants reportedly didn’t say a word as they wailed on Ballone, he says he’s sure he was attacked because of his sexuality.
“My friend is short and very flamboyant, wearing nail polish and stuff and I do drag. I was wearing one of my own T-shirts that I sell,” he said. “Maybe they looked at my T-shirt and thought, ’these are bunch of fruitcakes.'”
In a video posted to Facebook, Ballone said he will return the stage despite being advised to take four weeks off for recovery.
“I don’t want this to bring me down. I still have a lot of goals here that I need to continue,” he said. “I can’t stay home and look at the same four walls over and over. Emotionally, that’s not going to help me.”
You can check out a report below: