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New Zealand

Aziz Al-Sa'afin: I got beaten up on K' Road for being gay

Newshub logoNewshub 11/02/2019 Aziz Al-Sa'afin

Warning: The comments and language in this video and article are disturbing. They include hate speech, which some may find offensive or triggering. 

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Hi. 

My name is Aziz.

I'm a journalist.

I'm also a child most of the time. I view my fair share of Disney and Harry Potter movies.

I work out every day, and I like to have a boogie every once in a while.

Oh, and if it really matters to you - I'm gay.

This weekend I learnt I was also classed as a "f--", and I got beaten up for it.

You heard right. In New Zealand.

After a night out with a group of friends, one of my "f--" friends and I walked up Karangahape Road from Ponsonby. Nothing major, just two guys having a good time.

First, the greeting came: "Hey boys, how are you." - Friendly.

"What you boys up to tonight?"

Before I answered, my friend had hit the ground and a fist made contact with my left eye.

"F--s. H---s."

Before I realised what was happening, another punch to the right.

I fell to the ground. All I could think was 'this is it, see you later, world.'

a man holding a microphone © The AM Show

My phone fell. I saw my friend getting beaten to a pulp. The world got fuzzy.

I got up and shoved the guy, he swung and I dodged (thank you gymnastics classes).

The details get murky here, but I managed to run away.

I had no phone, a swollen eye, my friend was gone, and I was running towards light.

All I could think was, 'he's dead.' 

Another group ran towards me. I thought to myself, 'surely not again.'

Thankfully not.

These people could see how distressed I was. They wanted to know if I was ok.

We sat while I calmed down.

My phone - where was my phone?

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I asked if I could use theirs to locate mine - would Find my iPhone do the trick? It did.

"He's alive," a female's voice told me. Amazing how these two words have so much power. Relief washed over me.

"Are you ok?" she asked.

Ok? Sure, I suppose, for someone who had just been bashed in the face.

I was talking to my friend's flatmate who told me my friend was in bed, in the foetal position, but otherwise 'ok', too.

My friend had picked up my smashed phone before we had both split.

He managed to escape, but not before a good bash to the head, a kick to the balls and back, and a chipped tooth.

The important thing was he managed to get home. It could have been worse. Although, it still feels like rock bottom.

Perhaps in another world I wouldn't be here writing this. Never in my wildest nightmares did I think I would be subject to a 'gay bashing' in New Zealand, during Pride week, on Karangahape Road - a place I thought I was safe.

So, now I address you, the one who not only tried to break my face, but my heart too. The one who yelled out, "f--s". Soul-breaker.

I worry for your partner, should you actually have someone so unlucky. Your children, should you breed. No one is safe in your life. You are the headline-maker. The contributor to our shameful statistics. YOU are what we need less of in the world. I worry for the next 'f--' you come across on your next night out, which will happen. 

I worry for society.

You will not break me, hard as you might try.

You want to know what I did the next day?

I spent the day with my community. I rode the rainbow you obviously hate so much, right to Coyle Park for the Ending HIV Big Gay Out.

In fact, I got on stage and MCd the festivities will all my other "f--s". They were dressed in every colour of the rainbow. I, on the other hand, rocked every shade of magenta and blue on my puffed up face. Thanks for the costume.

We partied, we danced, and celebrated - something you will never understand, and that is "one love".

So, I end this the way I started, and you might want to listen up, "f--" hater.

My name is Aziz.

I'm a journalist.

I'm also a child most of the time. I view my fair share of Disney and Harry Potter movies.

I work out every day, and I like to have a boogie every once in a while.

Oh, and if it really matters to you - I'm gay.

Aziz is The AM Show producer/reporter.

Related Slideshow: Out and proud: LGBT Celebrities

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