New details have emerged about the two black gay men brutally beaten last week in Atlanta. It happened last Sunday outside the GE Tower Loft Apartments, seen in the aerial above, a development popular with black gays and lesbians. However, 29 year old James Carter says, "gay and lesbian residents occasionally evoke giggles or catcalls from younger neighbors."
That's how the nightmare began, as he and R'heem Turner were walking to the store. "I feel a hit and they took off from there,” Carter said. “I just felt fist and feet from every direction, and that’s when I heard ‘Get yo faggot ass down,’ and ‘Bitch’ this, ‘bitch’ that.” Carter says "five or six young men took turns kicking and punching" him as he lay on the ground.
"I was scared to open my mouth because I didn’t want them to kick any of my teeth loose. I just didn’t want to die … I couldn’t think of anything else but getting me and my friend out of there.”
The attackers were described as being between 17 and 19 years old. One pulled a gun on Turner and threatened him not to intervene. Turner, also gay, was eventually pistol-whipped and lost consciousness. Both were robbed of wallets, watches—even shoes and pants, to prevent their escape. Thankfully, both victims were able to get help. Carter says he is too shaken to return to the apartment complex he "once considered a tiny gay oasis."
“In a way it has been a safe haven — you walked around there and you knew it’s other people like you on every floor you go to,” Carter said. “I hate that I still have a couple of friends who live over there — it’s scary.”
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