Often society is blamed for your thirst for blood; it is us who introduced violence to your life and we desensitised you to it through our exposure. We have failed to educate you. We have failed to notice your poverty. We have failed to notice you inherent evil. We have failed you.
On the night you attacked me, you were out for blood - anyone's blood - and I was distracted enough to fall into your premeditated trap. I gave you what you demanded of me: my IPhone 5, my Raybans, my backpack, my keys. You were not satisfied. You had everything and the eight of you continued to kick and punch me. I pleaded for you to stop but the pack mentality had taken over - my blood spilled out of me.
But I did not bleed for you.
I did not bleed for all of you to congratulate yourselves afterwards; my blood doesn't run to strengthen your bragging rights. I did not bleed to give you confidence in your next attack. I did not sit in the back of a police car, soaked in my own blood, for you to grin at me and think that you have 'won'. My blood doesn't run to illustrate my weakness; it illustrates my humanity. My spilled blood symbolises of my strength.
My blood acts as a reminder that I survived. I'm a survivor. Your attack transitioned from a mugging into a hate crime: you had a vulnerable gay man at your mercy and you continued you beat me. Even after you had everything, the ring leader closed the gate to alley so I would not be able to escape.
As I was cowarded in the corner of that alley, I saw a person casually walk past and not intervene. Your brutal attack continued; you were not scared about being caught. I tired to beg you loud enough to catch the stranger's attention. Your leader realised the reason behind my attempts and took out a knife to silence me. I thought the sight of those grey joggers and white trainers was going to be the last thing I saw.
I thought I was going to die in that alley way.
The only thing I take solace in is your possible fear. I hope seeing the shine on that small blade destroyed your pack mentality and that is why you all suddenly stopped. I hope the cold surface of that blade penetrated your conscience; I am a living person who laughs and cries just like you. I bleed just like you.
I cried when I spoke to my Mum to tell her I had survived. The comfort of my Mum's voice was the thing that broke me. Whilst you went home and lied to your Mum when she asked you where you have been, a stranger could have been trying to comfort mine.
I haven't failed you. Society hasn't failed you. Your parents haven't failed you. The only person we have failed is the next son or daughter who falls victim to your next viscous attack.