A gay man was brutally attacked after leaving a popular gay bar in San Francisco last weekend, ending up in the hospital with serious injuries.
In an Instagram post showing him in a neck brace with bruises and dried blood all over his face, Barry Miles wrote that he was jumped by two unknown men after leaving Powerhouse, a popular LGBTQ bar on Folsom Street in the city’s SoMa neighborhood.
Miles wrote that his wallet was stolen, and that he suffered a heart attack during the assault due to high cholesterol, requiring doctors to put in two stents.
“My face hit the sidewalk,” he wrote. “Also a front tooth was knocked out, and a small fracture in my neck. I’m pretty banged up.”
Miles is a well-known figure in San Francisco’s local LGBTQ community. He’s a former titleholder of the Krewe de Kinque charitable Mardi Gras club, a former Mr. May 2016 of the charity Bare Chest Calendar, and has been involved with several other local organizations.
According to The San Francisco Standard, the Powerhouse draws large crowds on Saturday nights. On weekends, a taco truck is typically stationed outside the bar, which is on the same block as another LGBTQ venue, Hole in the Wall.
The San Francisco Police Department confirmed to the Standard that officers responded to a well-being check on nearby Langton Street, just minutes after midnight on Sunday, Feb. 5.
“The victim was unable to provide details regarding what led up to his injuries,” a department spokesperson told the newspaper. “Officers responded to a business on the 1300 block of Folsom Street, where the male stated he had come from and during their initial investigation, officers were unable to determine that a crime had occurred at that location.”
Gary Virginia, a local LGBTQ leader, organized a GoFundMe page for Miles, who is the self-employed owner of a housekeeping business, and whom Virginia says will need extensive medical care to recover from his injuries.
“This fund will directly support Barry’s living expenses for the next three months or more, and he will need dental surgery including a tooth implant,” the description in the GoFundMe reads. “Any size donation will help us reach our initial goal and allow Barry to focus on healing.”
So far, more than $14,000 has been raised to help Miles.
While San Francisco is often considered one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the country, there have been occasional outbreaks of violence directed against gays.
Last year, a gay man, Pepe Solis, was beaten unconscious and subsequently placed in a medically-induced coma after sustaining serious industries as part of a late-night assault that occurred in the Castro, the city’s most well-known gay neighborhood, according to the Bay Area Reporter.
San Francisco Pride President Nguyen Pham condemned the attack against Miles in a statement.
“All of us at San Francisco Pride condemn this horrific attack against a member of our community,” Pham said. “While we might not know the motive for the attack, we cannot ignore the growing nationwide trend of violence against the LGBTQ+ community, from the streets to the statehouses.
“We remain in solidarity with Barry, as well as other victims of anti-LGBTQ+ hate, and we will hold him in our hearts toward his speedy recovery.”
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