Out bobsledder Simon Dunn may be on top of the world right now, but at one point in time, he remembers feeling as though his life was hanging by a thread.
The Australian sensation penned an op-ed in the new issue of aTeen, recounting the painful memory of a “soul destroying” time he was hospitalized after being brutally gay-bashed by a gang of homophobes on the street.
I had been out having a few drinks with my team mates, from the Sydney Convicts Rugby Club, and started to head to go home. As a team mate and I strolled along the street we passed a group of young guys who began to verbally abuse us, calling us names like “faggots” and all those other unimaginative homophobic terms.
Intent on avoiding trouble we sped up but the next thing we knew we were surrounded by the group. What happened next, I cannot tell you. The image of those snarling abusive guys getting closer and closer to me was my last memory of the night.
Dunn says he woke up in the emergency ward at Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital with chipped teeth, black eyes, and a swollen face. Nurses informed him of their intention to put him in an induced coma due to a possible blood clot in his brain.
Dunn was aghast that he could even be the victim of such a crime, as his 6’1”, 216 pound frame is quite intimidating.
“It proves that no matter how big or small you are, we are all open to the most terrible abuse,” he writes. “And we should never stand for it. We should report these crimes straightaway so that people who beat people up just because they are different to them are taken off the streets and can’t hurt anyone else.”
Fortunately for Dunn, his recovery was quick. But many others in similar situations are often not.
Dunn’s aggressors were caught but never charged, as police couldn’t verify exactly who knocked Dunn out cold, since he lost consciousness.
But they say the best form of revenge is doing well for yourself, and uh, Dunn just recently qualified to be on the Australian national bobsledding team. Wonder what that awful homophobe is (not) up to?