U.S. Marine Ryan Langenegger Viciously Attacked After Defending His Gay Friends

On Saturday a straight Marine serviceman was beaten for defending the dignity of one of his friends who was dressed in drag. The incident took place outside of a restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska. Although the attack was violent and morally reprehensible, it gives me hope that there are people not only willing to defend our country from all threats foreign, but from individual domestic social threats as well.

Ryan Langenegger, the injured man, was assaulted for sticking up for his two friends, Joshua Foo and Jacob Gellinger. Langenegger, Foo, and Gellinger had just left a popular local drag show. The trio were at dinner at a neighborhood PepperJax Grill, when three men in the restaurant began staring at Gellinger, who was still dressed in drag from the show. When the friends left the restaurant the group inside followed them into the parking lot. According to Langenegger, one of them kept saying, "Should I? Should I?", apparently seeking approval from the group to take it upon himself to somehow right the moral wrong he felt that Gellinger, dressed in drag, was committing upon him.

The man told Gellinger he was "[expletive] disgusting", upon which Langenegger stepped in and told the men the group didn't want any trouble. One of the men began to beat Langenegger, opening up cuts on his face and a sizable gash on his forehead.


The gay community is honoring Langenegger for standing up for his friend's right to dress in drag by throwing a rally called "Drag Out Hate" this Saturday. The incident is being investigated as a potential hate crime.

Gellinger deserves to live in America as everyone else does — free from the fear of being physically harmed for his sexual orientation. There should be no need for anyone, a Marine no less, to have to physically stand up in defense of a man dressing like a woman, gay or not. This attack shows that America still has a long way to go when it comes to public understanding, acceptance, and support of gay rights.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Alexander de Avila

Alexander is a Political columnist at PolicyMic. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College's school of Government, focusing his studies on international politics and the impact of emerging technologies on government and war. He has experience working at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and as a research assistant at TSKB in Istanbul exploring alternative energy sources.

MORE FROM

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.