QUEER VOICES
02/14/2017 02:33 pm ET

Restaurant Co-Owner: I Was Beaten Because I'm Gay And I Blame Trump

"I guess we all have to be a little more alert now when we go out.”

The co-owner of a popular drag queen restaurant chain claims he was punched in the face because he’s gay. 

Mark Zschiesche, who co-owns the Lips Drag Queen Showplace restaurants, claims he was walking in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, California when he was attacked by a passerby, CBS 8 reported. Zschiesche, 54, recounted the alleged incident, which he said took place shortly after 2 a.m. on Sunday not far from the San Diego location of Lips, in an emotional Facebook video. 

“Look at my face,” Zschiesche, who lives in New York full time, says in the video, which can be viewed below. “Somebody beat me because I am gay, and I blame [President Donald] Trump and all those who support him!”

Speaking to The Huffington Post, Zschiesche said his alleged assailant called him a “faggot” before attacking him. “It all happened so fast, I wouldn’t even really be able to point the person out,” he said. Noting that he’d never been attacked because of his sexuality before, he added, “I’m fortunate enough to have lived a good portion of my life in New York. When you live in New York, you just feel like you can walk [anywhere] and you won’t have a problem. I guess we all have to be a little more alert now when we go out.” 

Although Zschiesche said his Trump claims in his Facebook video were “a little dramatic,” he believes the country’s divisive political climate is having an influence in how the LGBTQ community is perceived. “I just feel that, ever since the campaign, that there’s just this hatred brewing,” he told HuffPost. “This isn’t about me; this is about all of us.” 

The alleged attack left Zschiesche bruised and bloodied, but he said did not require medical treatment.

The San Diego Police Department confirmed to HuffPost that Zschiesche did file a police report. Meanwhile, officers told CBS 8 that they are investigating the incident, and that an assailant had not been caught. 

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