In the fall of 2007, David Perez sat down with his longtime girlfriend in Mexico City for what he knew would be a difficult conversation.
Perez told her he had to call off their engagement because he was gay and he could no longer live with the secret.
His girlfriend was furious and told him she would rather see him dead than be with a man, he says.
Perez and his partner, Pablo Gonzalez, told their story about what happened next in an interview with The Gazette this week:
A few weeks after the conversation, after leaving work one day, Perez was bundled into a car and driven to a remote neighbourhood by his ex-girlfriend’s uncle – a police officer – and three other men.
He says the men beat him, threatened to kill him with a gun and sexually assaulted him with a flashlight.
He and Gonzalez eventually fled Mexico City and moved to Cuernavaca, south of the capital. But his girlfriend soon showed up at their door, warning Perez she would track him down wherever he went.
A few months later, after fleeing to yet another city, Pachuca, Gonzalez says he was punched in the face by a man who turned up at his doorstep looking for Perez.
The men say they never reported either incident because they had no confidence the police would intervene.
“The culture is too macho – they don’t accept homosexuality,” Gonzalez said.
The couple fled to Montreal in the summer of 2008.
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