Gay man ‘will never go out’ after being branded a ‘HIV-ridden bastard’ and kicked in the head

A 23-year-old Northern Irish man has said that he is too scared to go outside after he was branded a ‘HIV ridden-bastard’ and kicked in the head in a homophobic attack.

Dean Wheeler, who lives in Enniskillen, was covered in cuts and bruises after a man allegedly shoved him to the ground and kicked him in the ribs and head during the early hours of Sunday morning.

After Wheeler was told that a taxi would take an hour to pick him up, he decided to walk home and encountered a group of abusive men.

“I was going out to the shop when I heard ‘queer boy’ being shouted at me,” he told the The Belfast Telegraph.

“After that, I heard ‘faggot’ being shouted and the next thing I know I was shoved to the ground and kicked in the ribs and head while they called me an ‘HIV ridden bastard,’ and all this.”

Dean Wheeler

Wheeler said that a passerby intervened and “ripped” the man off him.

“The next thing I remember was waking up at home the next morning,” he told the publication.

“I’ll never go out in this town again, never. If that man hadn’t have helped, God knows how far it would have gone.”

Wheeler, who came out as gay two years ago, said that although his family have supported him, he has been subjected to a barrage of homophobic abuse.

Trolls have set up fake Facebook accounts to shame him for his sexuality.

“My family and friends have always known, to be honest,” he said.

“Most people in the town were all fine but I got people making fake accounts on Facebook and telling me I’m going to die from HIV and things like that. I pass these people off because I don’t care about their opinion, but it’s different when somebody actually hit me because I’m gay,” he added.

In a survey of the best places to live in Europe if you’re LGBT+Ireland placed 22nd out of 26 countries due to the country’s legislation lacking in protective rights for LGBT+ residents.