Calum McSwiggan hosted an official meet and greet at London’s LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations this weekend. But not everyone was happy with his appearance, after the YouTuber and safe-sex campaigner ran into controversy back in 2016.
In June last year, Calum McSwiggan was accused of faking a hate crime.
The 27 year-old shared a selfie from a hospital bed and claimed he was beaten up by three men in a homophobic attack; after leaving the Abbey nightclub in Los Angeles, following an appearance at VidCon. However, when the police produced a mugshot of an injury-free Calum that was taken before his hospital selfie but after his run in with the police, many began to question his story.
Reports emerged that Calum was seen injuring himself with a payphone inside a police cell; leading to accusations that he had faked a gay-bashing, and a filing a false police report charge.
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 YouTube friends 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. UPDATE: I’ve posted a full statement of the night’s events on my Facebook page.
After the incident, Calum pleaded guilty to vandalising a car.
He was sentenced to three years supervised probation, a $7,000 fine and 52 anger-management classes; although he maintains that he was also attacked on the night in question. The charge against him for filing a false police report was dropped.
After the altercation, Calum returned to his work as an LGBTQ+ advocate.
Then in the days leading up to July 8th’s London Pride, the event’s organisers announced that Calum would be hosting a meet-and-greet during the celebrations, leading to heavy criticism.
However, some within the community showed their support for Calum.
And Pride in London spoke out in support of Calum.
They told Pink News: “Our view is that he was dealt with by the courts and that, having paid his dues and apologised, we should maintain our support for Calum and all the good work he does in the community.”