Larry Lennox-Choate III and his husband, Daniel Lennox-Choate, were spending some time in a Manhattan bodega recently when an unidentified 40-ish man “screamed anti-gay obscenities” at them and punched Daniel in the face. What happened next is proof positive you should never judge a book by its cover. The married West Point grads surprised their homophobe attacker.
The couple has the proud distinction of being the first gay couple married at West Point Academy. Daniel graduated from the Academy in 2007, while Larry graduated in 2009. The men married in 2013. Daniel holds a Master’s in business administration from Harvard and served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Larry posted the following on Facebook:
“It’s hard to believe that in 2015 we would have to deal with anti-gay hate crimes in soho of all places but that’s what happened. The hate crimes division of the NYPD is on the case and we have full faith a positive outcome will follow.” The surprised perpetrator has not yet been arrested, but the investigation continues, according to police.
So what was the couple’s surprise for their attacker? While you all know how much I love to describe situations where idiots get their comeuppance, no one does it better than Larry, who wrote:
“The guy who screamed anti-gay obscenities at us in a bodega before sucker-punching Danny? He left covered in his own blood with his tail between his legs after I handled the situation and tossed him in the street like the coward loser he is. Aside from one fat lip and a sore punching arm, we are fine.”
Be still my karma-loving heart! If I ever meet these two, I’m buying them a drink!
Larry continues, “We refuse to be victims and are thankful we can defend ourselves, but are saddened by the fact that idiots like this guy might not pick two guys who went through Plebe Boxing next time.”
He has a valid point. Self-defense is an important skill to possess, especially since the advances in equality we’ve enjoyed this year seem to have further emboldened those who hate us. While not everyone can go through Plebe Boxing, we can make sure we are able to take care of ourselves and that doesn’t necessarily mean fighting fair.
Danny was sucker-punched, which isn’t fair at all. In my opinion, if someone attacks you, the goal is your survival. Don’t restrict yourself to concepts of “honorable fighting” because your opponent sure won’t. If you’ve been through Plebe Boxing, use those skills and kick some ass; likewise, if you’re a martial artist.
However, if all you’ve got going for you is a clear shot to your attacker’s “special bits,” pretend you’re Pelé and score a “Goooooooaaaaaaalllllllll!” with his goolies. It’s better than getting the crap knocked out of you. Eyes, ears and the Adam’s apple are good targets, too. The point is to get away as safely as you can.
The NYPD reports that homophobic attacks are actually down 20% for the year, with 43 attacks through July 26. The rate last year for the same time period was 54.
To end on an up note, I’m raising a glass of happy pride to this awesome couple! Three cheers, Misters Lennox-Choate! Well done!