William Southern is just a typical guy, loves food, friends, traveling, and like most gay guys; being naked. Having moved recently to Washington DC, William joined the Stonewall Kickball League to meet new friends and have fun playing kickball. Living the good life of a young gay man in the city.

In his most recent Instagram post, William shares his story of an incident that should serve a reminder to all of us, that living the gay life isn’t always fruits and rainbows…

“So, this is extremely hard for me and I have not 100% settled on how I feel it. But, Sunday a friend of mine and I were the target and the victims of a hate crime. We were attacked by 4 men and a woman on the corner of 16th and U in Washington DC, simply because we were gay. The four men and the lady brutally attacked myself and my friend, I was sent to the ER where I received stitches to pull my lip back together.”

Despite this brutal experience, William reminds us all that it’s not about getting knocked down, but picking yourself back up…

“But, the moral of this story is not that it happened or for people to feel sorry for me. This is a statement, I will never stop being gay, I will never feel ashamed of who I am. Most importantly, I will never let anyone around me feel like less of a person simply because of who they are! I am fortunate enough to have an amazing support system even though I have only lived in DC for a few months. I am proud and honored to be a part of @stonewallkickball, my kickball family came together and has given me amazing support and I never would have met them without the ladies and gentlemen who were courageous enough to put together these teams to support LGBTQ rights and give them a safe haven to be themselves. May we stand strong and move forward.”

Unfortunately, it is a reality for us in the LGBTQ+ community still have to face this level of violence and discrimination. With transphobic violence at an all-time high and homophobic violence still very much prevalent, it is important that we come together as a community. LGBTQ+ oriented organizations such as Stonewall Kickball play very active roles in bringing our community together to support each other and stand up against this kind of discrimination. For more information about Stonewall Sports, visit https://stonewallsports.leagueapps.com/

All of us at Compete Magazine wish for William and Robert to have a swift recovery so they can get back to playing kickball.

By Dirk Smith