A Man's Defiant Tweet Posted After A Violent Anti-Gay Attack Has Gone Viral
Cole Ledford thanked everyone for showing that "love is louder than hate".
Three days ago, Cole Ledford, a student from Ohio, was punched in the face by a man who saw him kissing his boyfriend.
Ledford posted this tweet shortly afterwards. It's been retweeted over 30,000 times.
I'm sorry that you called me fag. I'm sorry you hit me for no reason. I'm sorry whatever insecurities you have don't allow you to accept others for who they are. I'm sorry I threaten you.
I'm NOT sorry I'm gay. I'm proud to be this way. I'm proud to be confident enough to love who I love and to love me. I'm proud to have friends and family that love me regardless of me. Honestly, I'm not sorry.
His name began to trend around the world.
Messages of support began to pour in.
Many had the hashtag #LoveIsLouder.
He proudly posted pictures of his boyfriend, who supported him.
And his story started to receive coverage from the mainstream media.
Update: 10 November, 14:15pm GMT. Ledford told BuzzFeed News:
I am doing much better. I still have a black eye but the swelling is down. Emotionally I couldn't be better from all the support. I filed a report through Ohio States system for hate crimes and bias.
I had never experienced anything like this before and to be honest never dreamed it could or would happen to me. My boyfriend has been absolutely amazing through all of this. He has been incredibly supportive. Neither one of us expected a response like this but he has been willing to stand by me and become an active LGBT activist as well. He makes me proud.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us and for the impact you are letting me have on the world. I am hoping to continue to take this negative thing that happened to me and turn it into work within the LGBT community. I am humbled and eager to find new ways to get involved with this.