I met Damian Furtch last month in New York while I was at that Patricia Field party that I posted about recently.

When he saw my camera, he asked if I could take a photo of him and his friends. Then next thing I know, he asking me to take all these other photos. Jokingly, I said “this is not a photo shoot,”  but he was cool. After I took some shots, he asked for my card so that he could follow up.

Days later, he reached out to me via Facebook for the photos so I hooked him up.

At the same party that I met Damian, I also met Manila Luzon who posted on Facebook last night that Damian was attacked in New York because he was gay.

I was like damn! When I read the story, I was just like WTF! Where does this hate come from?

“26 year old Damian Furtch was on his way home from work at a restaurant late Sat night (Sunday morning), when he stopped off at a McDonalds in NYC’s West Village ( a predominantly gay area) to get some food. It was approx. 4:30 am. While inside the restaurant Damian noticed 2 men staring at him – giving him “looks” – we have all been there, we know what this feels like. It was late, Damian was tired, he felt uncomfortable and he didn’t want any trouble so he left. He was across the street, walking away while on the phone to a friend when the 2 men from McDonalds approached him and asked him “if he had a problem” before he knew it he was punched in the face by one man, then instantly felt another punch by the second perp, and then he heard it – “You Fucking Faggot”, the words as hurtful as the punches.

Damian managed to get away – but not before suffering a severe beating to his face – and head to the nearest hospital where the police were called. He filed a police report and the cops appropriately asked him if they used any slurs. Damian said yes “they called me a faggot.” Now these 2 thugs are wanted in connection to a HATE crime. Damian got 4 stitches and they have to break and re-set his nose.

One of the perps has a huge tattoo of a gothic cross under his left was approximately 2 inches…Damian will be going to the precinct to go through mug shots and the police have subpoenaed the video surveillance tape from McDonalds.” (Source)

I don’t know Damian, but when I photograph people, I feel connected to them in a way and more often than not, their stories interest me.

I hope that he heals from these physical wounds soon, while working through the emotional scars.

This world can be fucked up and sometimes I struggle to understand hate. It makes no since to me for anyone to consciously put that much energy behind something causes harm to others on any level.