(Memphis) A Memphis woman says she is the victim of a hate crime after being punched in the face, because she is gay.
Jaqi Lloyd says she’s been out of the closet for about two years, and dealing with bullies has been painful, but that fear was taken to a whole new level Sunday night.
Lloyd was at the Celtic Crossing bar for restaurant appreciation night Sunday when she ran into an old friend, “She was ecstatic to see me and jumped up and put her legs around me and was super excited to see me, and we talked for about three or four minutes."
According to a police report, the girl’s boyfriend, Brandon Hooper, didn’t like the exchange between his girlfriend and Lloyd who is a lesbian.
“He says (explicit) you (explicit) and punched me in the nose, and I fall back about three feet,” said Lloyd.
Lloyd says she was knocked into a daze for a few minutes, “He just continued to scream down the street ‘that’s what you get you lesbian problem solved. That’s what you get you lesbian."
Lloyd says she is the victim of a hate crime because she was physically attacked for being gay, “For you to say (explicit) and lesbian and (explicit) you and that’s what you deserve, to me that’s a hate crime."
Lloyd told us her nose is broken in two places and she will have to get cosmetic surgery to fix the damage.
But, she says the emotional damage is far worse.
Brandon Hooper is charged with aggravated assault and posted a statement to his Facebook page saying he has never hit a girl and never will.
“I just want to stick up for my gay community because I believe we should be allowed to live normal lives just like everybody else, and living in Midtown in a gay friendly community it’s so unfair to get punched in the face or punched in the nose,” said Lloyd.
Since the attack, Lloyd says she can’t sleep and is constantly in pain and fear.