How Dante Got Punched in the Kisser

Dante Teodori
October 26, 2015

This is the story of how Dante got punched in the kisser and now bears all the hallmarks of an alleged real man.

Petersburg LGBT activist Dante Teodori
Petersburg LGBT activist Dante Teodori

I was going to the Rainbow Coffee Klatch on the subway today. I looked and saw this one guy eyeing me quite maliciously. The fellow was well built and dressed in sport clothes but dressed decently. After a while, he came up and leaned over me. (I was sitting down.) He told me either I could take off my scarf and scram from the car or he would kick my ass. (I have omitted the obscenities.) I refused. He smacked me in the face and split my lip. I took the second blow on the head and it split my eyebrow. Then some dude pushed him away.

I got out at a station and looked for the cops or some other official service, but there was no one. I got back on the train and pushed the hotline button to connect me to the driver, but it didn’t work. Well, okay, I thought, I will just go as I am. I asked people for napkins and telephoned the guys to come meet me in the subway, since I thought my nose was broken and I wouldn’t be able to see anything because of the blood. When I got there, the guys suggested calling an ambulance, since we didn’t know where the first-aid station was.

They took me to the hospital, since they didn’t like the look of the epic lump on my forehead. At the hospital, I was examined, stitched up, and sent home to heal.


What is the moral of this story? I could have taken the scarf off. I could have have got out of the car. I had the chance. But I think this is the wrong position to take. “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” That is first and foremost.

Second, the scarf was not in the LGBT colors. It was knitted and given to me by a very nice woman with whom I was detained for waving the Ukrainian flag. What does this mean? That technically anyone wearing colorful clothes can get the crap beat of them.

And the most important thing. I think the only chance we have of getting closer to the future we want is to live as if it has already arrived.

Translated by the Russian Reader. Thanks to Gabriel Levy for the suggestion. Photos courtesy of Dante Teodori’s Facebook page. This story has been covered widely in the local media. See, for example, “LGBT activist beaten over colorful scarf,”, October 26, 2015 (in Russian).

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