In April, Isaac Keatinge was brutally attacked while wearing a dress. Keatinge, who identifies as queer, told BuzzFeed that he was walking toward King Street in Sydney, Australia, when some men began to yell anti-transgender slurs.
“They verbally assaulted me, comments about wearing a dress, ” Keatinge told BuzzFeed. “I responded in kind. I wasn’t afraid of going up to them to talk and try to diffuse the situation.”
But when he approached the men, he was attacked. Keatinge’s friends took him to a hospital and not long after, his face, bloodied and bruised, showed up all over the Internet.
A month later, Keatinge is taking his image back, posing with friends in a high-fashion shoot for Heaps Gay, a site by and for the queer community in Australia.
Samuel Leighton-Dore, editor of Heaps Gay and author of the article, wrote, “Our goal was to give the story a much needed positive twist, proving once and for all that not only are the gender binaries of clothing completely outdated and fucked up, but there is a true strength in expressing your best self unashamedly.”
Most of the comments in response to the article have been positive.
Great work Isaac and Heaps Gay 👏🏼👏🏼🎉🎉 https://t.co/InzTAUXeUQ— Liz Mulhall (@lizmulhall) May 16, 2016
Rock that dress boi pic.twitter.com/4zKTPAbyIW— Genevieve (@JenPur10) May 16, 2016
In one comment, Dore adds, “We have the right to be resilient and proud.”