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Volunteer finds his pride after brutal attack

Posted at 11:48 AM, Jul 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-14 14:48:47-04

San Diego (KGTV) Over 3,000 volunteers worked Pride Weekend to make sure all the events ran smoothly. But one volunteer says a brutal attack in 2016 almost kept him from being out there. He was stabbed and beaten for wearing Pride T-shirt.

“I came back because I found my pride again,” says volunteer Chris Keiser.

He was one of the many volunteers up early Saturday morning making sure everyone was in place for the large parade.

“I make sure everyone has their radios so they can communicate and check out their cart. We kind of rally the people together, get them excited.”

But this was the first time in two years Keiser found himself volunteering after struggling to find his excitement again for the pride community.

“I was going to volunteer every year after that and I just couldn’t I just couldn’t bring myself to.”

In 2016, Keiser was jogging in his Oak Park neighborhood wearing a Pride T-shirt when he was beaten and stabbed on College Drive. His memory is still fuzzy about what happened.

“I do remember a car, the derogatory names, then hearing a car again, and then next thing I know I was on the phone calling whoever for help.”

Keiser says it was the pride community that helped him through that dark time.

This year San Diego Pride is celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall Riots in New York. Keiser says he’s finding his strength in knowing others paved the way for San Diego to have such a celebration.

“You made me try to silence myself and take away my pride, but all you did was make me come back stronger, and I’m louder than before.”

San Diego Police investigated Keiser’s attack as a hate crime. He was not able to get a good description of the suspects who are still on the run.