Queer Teenager Who Was Victim Of Vicious Attack Speaks Out

A teenager who was beaten up in a brutal attack in Bristol has spoken of their ordeal and says "I will never stop being who I am."

queer teenager who was attacked with his injuries

Bristol teenager Kydis Zellinger, who uses they/them pronouns, was viciously attacked by 27 year-old Paul Austin, of Inns Court, on October 15, and has since spoken about the experience.

The 18 year-old was attacked by Austin on board a number 76 bus as they made their way home to Hartcliffe from the city centre. The incident has been classified by Avon and Somerset Constabulary as a homophobic hate crime. Kydis was punched and kicked in the head and threatened with homophobic abuse shortly before midnight.

They said that Austin approached them and shouted: “You little f***ing queer who do you think you’re getting mouthy to?”

The teenager was left with two black eyes, a swollen face and bruising on the back of their head.

queer teenager who was beaten up in Bristol

queer teenager who was beaten up in Bristol

Austin was charged with assault by beating following the incident after pleading guilty at Bristol Magistrates Court on October 20 and will be sentenced on October 29.

Speaking to Pink News, Kydis said, “The fact that we’re living in 2018 and there are still some people who believe that hate crimes are okay is truly appalling.

“I’ve recently gained a lot of confidence within myself after dealing with some pretty rough mental health issues, and this has unfortunately set me back quite far, almost destroying a lot of milestones that I’d overcome.

“I’m hoping I’ll bounce back, and with the endless and continued support of the massive community, I truly believe that I’ll come out the other end stronger.”

“This attack won’t stop me from being who I am, so these homophobes better get used to us being around,” Kydis added.

queer teenager who was beaten up in Bristol

Kydis’ mother, Soniya Zellinger, posted photos of her child’s horrific injuries to social media after the attack in an attempt to appeal for witnesses, attracting much attention from the people of Bristol and the media alike. Hundreds of people have since expressed their sympathies.

The teenager said: “It has just been completely overwhelming – there aren’t words to describe how much the support has meant to me. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t even come close to doing it justice.

“It has been such a comforting reminder that although there are bad people out there, the vast majority of people are so loving and supportive. The one person who did this to me is absolutely nothing in comparison to that.

“I am starting to come to terms now with what happened and face the reality of what’s ahead. It’s so important to me that the man who did this is held accountable for his actions not only for my sake but so he can’t do the same thing to anybody else.”

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