Tyler Maddick's vision was already ailing, and as a fashion photographer, his vision is key to his art and his profession. Unfortunately, he says his vision in one eye is now unlikely to ever recover because of an alleged hate crime in which he was doused by gasoline.
According to several reports, Maddick claims he was followed, verbally abused, and then had gasoline thrown in his face by a car of men while he was on his way home. South Wales Police are investigating the incident, and The Independent is reporting that Detective Inspector Mark Kavanagh of the Swansea Police said it is being investigated as a hate crime.
It is being investigated as a hate crime and the victim is being offered all the necessary support after what is obviously a distressing incident for him.
The BBC reports that Maddick is a freelance photographer who just finished school at the London College of Fashion. He had just moved back to Swansea, in Wales, a few days prior to when the attack occurred. Maddick identifies as openly gay, and says his sexuality is "obvious." Although he says much of his sight in his left eye was already gone, there was hope that he would recover his sight. That may now be very unlikely, with doctors saying he's likely to permanently lose all sight due to the gasoline.
I've been told there's a very high possibility that my vision won't come back in that eye. I have been visually impaired anyway but then there was the prospect that my eye could get better but now it's not going to happen.
Maddick's experience is something he said he'd never thought much about happening to him. At twenty, he's spent his life growing up in a world which has become increasingly more and more progressive towards issues of sexuality and gender identity. And yet we still live in a world where gay men, especially those who are visibly gay in supposed "gay jobs" like fashion photography, can just be called "faggot" and doused in chemicals on their way home.
It happens every single fucking day.
Image via Tyler Maddick/MediaWales.