A straight man in Serbia was attacked for his gender-nonconforming choice of dog carrier.
Two men began hurling insults and then assaulted Ilija Vučević in a Belgrade pizza restaurant over the pink bag, which made the assailants believe that Vučević is gay.
Vučević, 39, took to Facebook Friday to share details of the gruesome attack in which he sustained several injuries, including three lost teeth, stitches, and bruising.
"Tonight I was brutally attacked in the center of Belgrade because two hooligans thought that pink dog transporter bag is a proof that I'm a homosexual. Three lost teeth, one stitch and several bruises are the epilogue of the attack."
"Despite not being a homosexual, tonight I am proud to 'be' one of them," he declared.
The altercation began Friday, after Vučević, who was at the pizzeria with his wife and two friends, walked to the counter to help his male friend with carrying their order. The men believed Vučević was cutting the line. After seeing the pink dog carrier, the assailants mistook the pair for boyfriends and began a verbal attack. Vučević, in turn, clapped back.
"That may have been my mistake, that I dared to answer back, and not keep quiet," he told Blic, a Serbian paper.
The attackers only stopped after Vučević's wife showed her wedding ring. Afterward, they fled the scene and an ambulance was called to treat Vučević's injuries.
Following the attack, Serbian authorities arrested two unnamed 26-year-old men who then pleaded guilty in "a speedy court case," reports Queerty. The pair received suspended sentences. However, Vučević told the LGBTQ outlet that he is considering civil action.
While LGBTQ people Serbia enjoy certain rights — hate-crime laws and nondiscrimination in employment, for example — the country does not recognize same-sex unions or marriage equality. Antigay attitudes persist. A recent survey from a regional group, ERA, indicated that 90 percent of Serbians are against adoption for LGBTQ couples.
However, the country does have an out prime minister, Ana Brnabić, who made history in 2017 as the first woman and gay person to hold this post.