24-year-old Jamar McLeod told Eyewitness News he was uncomfortable talking on-camera about what happened to him, how he was attacked, both verbally and physically.
But he and his girlfriend agreed their story was an important one to tell, how deep seeded hatred can be so dangerous.
His scars were caused by hate.
Doctors used stitches to close Jamar McLeod's wounds to his neck and elbow.
The gash on his face shows just how close his attacker came to cutting his neck.
"If it could have been a couple inches over, God forbid he could have hit my jugular vein and I could have been dead," McLeod said.
McLeod was slashed Wednesday night outside a McDonald's in Greenwich Village, one of the city's most tolerant neighborhoods.
He says it all started when a man hurled gay slurs at him and his girlfriend, Jaslisa Griffin, who is transgendered.
"He said sir, you're going to the wrong bathroom, the men's bathroom is over here," Griffin said.
Upset that Griffin was using the women's bathroom, the couple says the man taunted them inside the McDonald's and then followed them outside where they say the verbal assault escalated into a physical one.
"Out of nowhere he pulled out a straight razor," Griffin said.
"He sliced me in the back of the neck, and then when I backed up a bit, he sliced me on my face," McLeod said.
NYPD Hate Crimes is leading the investigation.
They say the suspect is a black male around 35 to 40 years old, about 5'10", and between 300 and 350 pounds.
While his weapon was sharp, McLeod says the man's words hurt just as much. "We're all human beings. It doesn't matter what sexuality what race, we're just human beings, so you should be able to respect the person for who he is," McLeod said.
This is the same McDonald's where a year ago an employee and a customer brawled behind the counter.
The owner has since added more security and cameras and has closed the upstairs portion at night.
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