Gay student who was beaten speaks out

HOUSTON The pride parade typically draws over 150,000 spectators. This year's them is pride not prejudice. For a local college student who believes he was targeted for being different, the festivities are reminder.

"We're HCC out students and allies," said Lance Reyna.

As a 29-year-old gay transgendered man, Lance Reyna knows all about adversity.

"All the bigotry and hatred and intolerance and discrimination I have faced," said Reyna.

He knows he looks different, yet he is undeniably proud of who he is. And he's celebrating that this pride weekend.

"We're all unique in our own way," Reyna said.

And as a student at Houston Community College, he always thought of school as a safe place until he was attacked in a bathroom at knifepoint.

"He was like, 'Hey queer, I need you to be quiet, cooperate, and give me all your valuables,'" Reyna said.

But Reyna put up a fight.

"He punched me here and elbowed me in the same spot and by that time I'm falling to the floor," said Reyna. "He just kept punching me and kicked me and took my wallet and ran off."

Reyna chased after him but he got away. The attack left the student with a concussion. But that's not what hurts him the most.

"With it being pride week this week, it makes me feel like I'm a target," he said.

Reyna is still shaken but instead of letting fear force him into silence, he is facing adversity head on and speaking out.

"I shouldn't have to be ashamed to walk down the street because I present myself in a different way," Reyna said. "I feel the person I am on the inside shouldn't be affected by how I look on the outside."

HCC released a statement saying in part, "The Houston Community College Police Department is investigating all of the possible leads. We are working closely with authorities to find and arrest the suspect in this case. We are committed to providing our students, faculty and visitors a safe environment."

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