A couple were attacked and subjected to homophobic slurs while on a busy beach in Poland.
James Pickering, 39, and his Polish-German boyfriend Joseph Czarny, 25, planned to move to the European country to care for Czarny’s parents, but while walking holding hands along a busy beach, the couple were attacked.
Pickering told Pink News two men approached them and “knocked on my partner’s shoulder, hard” and Czarny dropped his phone and shoes into the sand.
He went on to say: “They then proceeded to verbally abuse us aggressively calling us ‘f*****s’ and ‘gay *****’.”
The couple decided to leave the beach and not argue with the men. However they were followed and were attacked.
“We went to the exit of the beach, and they attacked us from behind,” Pickering added.
“I was punched twice in the back of the head and it was so hard that I fell into a fence. My partner Joseph was then punched in his face and fell over as well, breaking his phone on the floor.”
Czarny added: “Nobody really helped us to be honest… that was the most depressing thing, you know.
“Attacking us was one thing, but another thing was that nobody helped. That was just unbelievable.”
Pickering went on to claim that an onlooker egged on the attackers and called them “fucking disgusting f*****s” and that they “deserved it”.
They managed to escape and find a beach guard who called the police, who are now investigating the attack.
Pickering continued: “It’s been a traumatic experience… We are, I suppose, not afraid to go out, but we’re afraid to go to certain areas.
“It’s caused me depression, really. A real lack of faith in going outside and being openly gay.
“I’ve never been a person anywhere – I’ve lived all over the world – and to have to hide who I am is really not a nice thing to have to do and makes me a different person.”