'You're not human': Calgary man speaks out after homophobic, transphobic incident

Ryan Massel was admiring a newly-painted Pride sidewalk in the city until he experienced a "verbal attack."

Ryan Massel took to Twitter with a video showing a homophobic and transphobic incident he recently experienced in Calgary. (Photo via @immrfabulous on Instagram)
Ryan Massel took to Twitter with a video showing a homophobic and transphobic incident he recently experienced in Calgary. (Photo via @immrfabulous on Instagram)

A Calgary man isn't letting a verbal abuser get away following a recent homophobic and transphobic incident.

Ryan Massel, who goes by Mr. Fabulous on social media, took to X (Twitter) on Tuesday to share a clip of a man near Central Memorial Park in Calgary who walked by shouting a range of slurs.

Massel told Yahoo Canada that he was headed to his barber when he decided to shoot some video of the newly-painted Pride sidewalk in the city. But while filming, a man allegedly came up to him and asked, "Did you know that Rogers is paying for this?"

Massel said he knew what the man was suggesting with his comment, and so he replied saying, "Well, that's great. It's a great use of their money."

"That just sent him over the edge," Massel said over the phone. "I immediately was called the 'F' word right away.

"It's a shocking moment to hear this."

The video Massel posted on Tuesday evening was allegedly taken right after that conversation, after he hit the "stop record" button and immediately pressed "record" again.

The clip shows the man calling Massel a "f—t" and yelling "you're not human," before adamantly saying "there's only two genders."

Massel also said he followed the man and continued filming, where the man tried to "flip the script" by telling workers painting the sidewalk that he was being harassed.

"My mind didn't even go to the history of the LGBTQ community, it went to the history of the BIPOC community and the thought of what these people have went through and the very public deaths that we've seen in their community," Massel noted. "I thought, 'This has happened to them. This is where nothing happened, but the script got flipped so quickly that they became the bad guy.'

"I've seen this play out many times, and I have to exit scene left immediately because this is not safe for me."

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) told Yahoo Canada that it has been in contact with Massel and that it's investigating the incident. It said it's also offering its "supports" amid the investigation.

The CPS said that hate motivation does not result in a charge, but "any evidence of it is considered by the courts after a person is found guilty of the connected crime."

However, if a judge considers hate to be a motivation for an offence, it can add to a convicted person's sentence.

Massel said that after chatting with CPS over the phone, he feels the Criminal Code of Canada is different than what he thinks it should look like.

"He cannot be charged under the Criminal Code because I followed him," Massel said. "I did not cower away and say that I was fearful. And because of that, they don't consider it a criminal offence."

He explained that if he had ran the other way in fear, then the man would allegedly face a different charge. But now, the man reportedly faces a lesser charge that doesn't carry a criminal conviction, only a fine.

"I don't think anyone in our community should cower and take a back seat and hide," he added. "We've done that for hundreds of years, and we need to stand up and we need to use our voice and our power and be the people we are and set things right.

"If we just hide and keep quiet, we are never going to progress in our community for our equality around the world."

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