Metro Weekly

Gay Man Sucker-Punched in Homophobic Attack

Jack Calos claims a man came up to him on a Boston train and punched him without provocation before uttering anti-gay rhetoric.

MBTA Green Line – Original Photo: Adam E. Moreira via wikicommons

A man from Somerville, Massachusetts, claims he was attacked in a possible hate crime while riding “the T,” Boston‘s main public transportation system.

Jack Calos, 25, says the incident happened on his way to work on May 28, after he boarded the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Green Line light rail train at North Station. 

Calos was seated, listening to music and looking down at his phone, when a man he had never meet approached him and sucker-punched him without provocation.

“He backed up a little bit and proposed a question — he asked, “You want to know what the biggest problem in America is right now?” Calos told NBC Boston. “You homosexuals.”

Though still reeling from the punch, Carlos yelled at the man and managed to take a photo of him when he got off the train at Government Center station, two stops later.

Calos stayed on board until Copley station, at which point he got off the train. He reported the incident to Transit Police, and was checked out by paramedics who came with an ambulance.

“I was just very shocked and obviously in pain,” he said. “It was a pretty nice punch, and…I’m still very confused.”

Carlos wondered aloud how the man had known about his sexuality, as he wasn’t wearing anything that would be indicative of his sexual orientation.

“There must have been something about me that he made an assumption on and I became a target,” he said. 

Although Calos’s injury has largely healed, the incident left him shaken, causing him to lose sleep and be wary of riding public transportation or walking alone at night.

He hopes that sharing his story will serve as a warning to other LGBTQ people to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

Nina Selvaggio, the co-executive director of Greater Boston PFLAG, told NBC Boston that incidents like the one that targeted Calos aren’t uncommon.

“We need to ensure that public safety entities understand that this is happening, maybe even more than they can comprehend, because that’s the only way we’re going to get services and resources and attention paid to it,” Selvaggio said.

MBTA Transit Police confirmed that they are investigating the attack on Calos but declined to comment further. It’s unclear if they’ve identified a suspect or made an arrest.

Even though the incident occurred just prior to Pride Month, Calos told NBC Boston he’s trying not to be intimidated by it or refrain from going out in public, despite his concerns.

“I’m ready to celebrate Pride and, be as loud and proud as I can be,” he said. “And I even feel more motivated this year, to celebrate and just be myself.”

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