Isaac Keatinge was left with 15 stitches after a brutal attack on the streets of Newtown, in Sydney's inner west, last month.
He didn’t know his assailants and he says he believes he was targeted simply for wearing makeup and a dress.
One month on and Keatinge, 25, is back on his feet and in another gorgeous gown.
Encouraging self-expression by posing for a powerful photo shoot with Heaps Gay, the design assistant is showing that despite the violent incident, he definitely won’t start dressing any less fabulously.
Since sharing an image of his battered face on Facebook, Keatinge said he has received an overwhelming amount of support, however he doesn't believe that attacks of a similar nature will cease in the foreseeable future.
“While Australia continues to be ruled by rich, white people, and continues to ignore its violent history/present of oppression and dispossession, it’s hard to have faith in the extended, arbitrary and very imagined community we call Australia,” he says.
“There is so much strength in diversity, and so much wealth unlocked by progressive legislation. Yet I feel surrounded by a willful and violent ignorance.”
Keatinge said the violent incident began when he was leaving a party and walked past a group of men who began swearing at him and making homophobic remarks.
He told SBS at the time that they started pushing him, “then there was just a lot of rapid punches to the head”.
The incident was the catalyst for the recent “Keep Newtown Weird” protest designed to reassert Newtown as, “a beautiful community of queers, weirdos, freaks, hippies, goths, punks, ferals, migrants and everyone else who doesn’t fit in elsewhere".
Hundreds of people flocked to Newtown’s main thoroughfare to show their support and pride in being “weird”.