Man who faced homophobic, anti-Semitic harassment at New York Subway stop tells his story

Posted at 6:22 PM, Sep 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-09 18:22:24-04

Community organizer Adam Eli posted a video showing him followed by a man who yells homophobic slurs at him, calling for Eli to take off his yarmulke

Eli is queer and Jewish and understands why he was targeted.

“I’m sort of assuming that they read that I was gay cause of the purse and also I have a patch on my butt,” Eli told PIX 11 exclusively. “He kept asking me to take off my kippah and I refused to.”

You can hear Eli in the video say “because I’m gay and wearing a kippah... is that why?”

The unidentified man replies, “any man that lays with another man is an abomination. You’ll be murdered for it. Take the kippah off.”

It happened in broad daylight, right as Eli got off at the 28th Street Subway station.

The man also yells “stay in the closet! Make sure your closet is in another closet!”

PIX11 News cannot independently verify what led up to the video, but Eli said the man tapped him on the shoulder as he was leaving the station and began telling him to take off his yarmulke.

“He stalked me for a couple blocks so I was feeling scared”

He posted the video on his social media platforms to send a message.

“I’m cisgender, white, I have a social media platform I have resources and that’s the type of violence that I’m getting," he said.

"If that’s the type of violence that one of the most privileged members of our community is getting, can you imagine what it’s like every day in the subway to be a trans person or a gender non-conforming person or a queer person of color?”

"The sense was that the person who was doing it was Jewish himself which is even harder to contend with, a minority on minority going after one another,” said Evan Bernstein,  regional director in New York and New Jersey for the Anti-Defamation League

“The bottom line is what was said in that video to that individual was horrific and it cannot be tolerated in this city,” he added.