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Canadian Gay Man Opens Up About Alleged Anti-Gay Attack

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Aug 21, 2013
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A gay man from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, who was beaten last week, took to social media sites to open up about the alleged anti-gay attack, the Huffington Post Canada reports.

"It’s really scary when somebody tells you that if you weren’t found 10 minutes before you would’ve bled out and died," Pattrick Blackburn said in a YouTube video, which has since been removed. According to Canada.com, a YouTube user commented on the video, claiming to be Blackburn’s close friend and said he took down the clip because of "malicious acts of sabotage towards his Youtube and Facebook accounts."

Blackburn, 30, says that a group of men followed him and that he heard one of the attackers use an anti-gay epithet before he was beaten last Thursday. Blackburn suffered injuries to his left eye and needed 18 stitches for other injuries. He’s also suffering from short-term memory loss, he says in the video.

"I never thought that something like this could happen in Newfoundland. But it’s still going on," Blackburn added.

Soon after the alleged attack, he wrote on Facebook, saying, "Almost died last night from an attack - here are the photos - Thans you again Sheldon Steven Burke for saving my life. I have short term memory loss - Im only going by what i was told when Sheldon found me about to bleed to death. - I phone stolen (again) & $ in wallet - i wont have a phone for a long while - so please get in touch with me through here. Thank you so much."

He later added, "Thanks for everyones concern, means a lot - Again Sheldon Steven Burkesaved my life a jumping last night - I have short term memory loss - I dont remember NOTHING - a police report has been made on my behalf - I remember walking home seeing 3 guys and waking up in a hospital where the doctors said I lost a lot of blood and i came in unconscious - Battered and brusied and have a HUGE gash on my forehead - I was released shirtly after i woke up..Thanks to staff! Im in a lot of pain and I cannot answer anymore questions about police, hospital, or the assailants. I’m sorry when this comes back to me i’lll let you know. ALSO i could kill for some company..im afraid to close my eyes :("

HuffPo Canada spoke with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary who said they were still investigating the attack and do not have details to release.

Blackburn told Canada.com that he does not remember a weapon being used.

Newfoundland’s LGBT community has been on edge since the incident, however. President of St. John’s Pride, Noah Davis-Power, said he’s never heard anything like this "happening in St. John’s."

"It rattles everybody," he said. "It makes you wonder; am I going to get beat up when I go downtown if I dress a bit more flamboyantly, or if I’m holding my partner’s hand."

Davis-Power said that he wants to plan an event for Blackburn but is waiting for him to recover. Additionally, Queer Ottawa is holding a fundraiser for Blackburn this week. Another fundraiser will be held in Halifax.

As Canada.com reports, Blackburn describes himself as an out gay man with "a passion for fitness and cosmetics" but is not an LGBT activist.

He said there has been "so much love from friends and strangers worried about me."

"I love them all dearly, they are helping me get back on my feet. The human heart is not lost, I swear. It’s not lost," Blackburn added.

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