“I feel that I was very violated,” White said at a press conference.
“I thought that … if a straight person could walk to the store and not have a problem I should be able to do the same thing. I shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not I should have to look over my shoulder or if this person is going to attack me or that person is going attack me for just being a gay male.
“I could have died that day. They’re monsters,” he added.
Brown of Savannah said he sometimes fears for his safety.
“As a gay man in Savannah, I have my moments. I have my moments where I take a step back and I think, ‘Are they looking at me because they think I’m gay or are they just looking at me in passing?’ But what I know, is that our community as a whole, is good,” Brown added.
SCAD is also producing the play “Stop Kiss” next week in Savannah. The play is about a lesbian who is beaten so severely she ends up in a coma.
Alyssa Gentry, the director of the play, said she hopes the play brings about more tolerance and less violence against LGBT people.
“I long for a day when people don’t even have to be tolerated, it’s just accepted. I think we are getting there. I think it’s just a matter of educating,” she said.
Atlanta Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are investigating White’s attack as a possible hate crime. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is offering a $10,000 reward to tips leading to the arrests of the men who attacked White. Atlanta City Council member Cleta Wilson is also offering a $1,000 reward.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Atlanta police at 404-624-0674 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477