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Police Say Gay YouTuber Injured Himself and Lied About Being a Hate Crime Victim

If you don’t know who Calum McSwiggan is, don’t worry. You can go back to not knowing in a few seconds. For now, just be advised that he is a YouTube celebrity. (Memo: We are actually calling them Creators now, so update your records.)

Beyond being famous for making videos, he is gay, and that’s pretty much all we know about him because it’s also pretty much all he makes posts about. Take this one, for example:

Last night was the worst night of my life and I’m really struggling to find the words to talk about it. After one of the most wonderful weekends at VidCon we went out to a gay club to celebrate, and towards the end of the evening I was separated from my friends and beaten up by three guys. The authorities should have been there to help and protect me but instead they treated me like a second class citizen. With three broken teeth and six stitches in my forehead, I’ve never felt so terrified to be a gay man in the public eye. All I can do is thank my wonderful friends @riyadhk, @melaniiemurphy and @douga_ for being with me the whole way. I’d be lost without them. Right now I don’t feel that I’m in the right place to talk about this but I will be addressing this fully in the future.

A photo posted by LGBT+ Lifestyle YouTuber ✖️ (@calummcswiggan) on

In that photo, he is clearly in the hospital. In its caption, he writes about an alleged attack on him that was motivated by homophobia. He writes of being afraid of being gay in public.

It’s true that homophobic violence is a terrible and real thing. However, it doesn’t appear to have happened here.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is saying that in fact, it was McSwiggan who was caught doing something illegal early Monday morning when the attack allegedly took place. They say he was vandalizing a car, according to People, and that when they took him into custody, he was seen using a payphone in his cell at the West Hollywood station to hurt himself.

He was charged with a felony count of vandalism with property damage greater than $400 and his bail was set at $20,000. The photo was taken in the hospital after officers had to take him there once they saw him hurting himself, they say.

A friend who was with him on Sunday night and Monday morning has spoken out:

The Englishman, too, has since defended his side of the story and it is sure to be a long time before any definitive conclusion is reached.

The truth and full story of the events on June 26th.

On Sunday June 26th I went out to The Abbey, a gay club, in West…

Posted by Calum Mcswiggan on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

He was in California for VidCon and if it is true that he was not attacked, it could be possible that he was inspired to raise awareness of LGBT hate crimes by the Orlando massacre that took place at a gay nightclub two weeks ago. Most would probably agree that this could diminish the credibility of real victims, though, so if he is making it up, he is unlikely to find anymore sympathy in his very gay following.

[image via screengrab]

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