Victoria Police are appealing for any witnesses of a recent homophobic attack to come forward.
A man, named only as Brendan, was approached by a group of men on Smith Street in Collingwood, between Victoria Parade and Mason Street, at around 2:45am on January 27, according to 9 News.
“He said a word that wasn’t so nice… then there was one giant punch to my left eye,” Brendan told a press conference yesterday.
“I remember picking myself back up… I spent 18 hours on my back, not being able to move.”
The Brighton man’s physical injuries include cracked ribs and major damage to both eyes, which will require surgery.
He said despite being on the road to recovery, he is still feeling the psychological trauma of the attack.
“It was a life-changing moment,” Brendan said.
“I’m no longer going out at night by myself… it doesn’t matter what part of the city I’m in, I’m always looking over my shoulder.”
He called the attackers “scum”.
The Collingwood area is typically considered an LGBTI-friendly area, featuring a number of gay bars and venues, and a rainbow crossing installed at Gertrude Street five years ago.
Police are continuing their investigation into the homphobic attack.
Anyone with information on the incident can contact Victoria Police, or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.