Autistic, Gay Man Says He's The Target Of Taunts

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UPDATED: Thursday May 23, 2013 6:45 PM

An autistic, gay man told 10TV that he is tired of being the target of taunts, and his mother says she’s had enough.

Now, they’re turning to police for help.

Mark says he spends hours walking through his Grove City neighborhood, but he says his disorder and his sexual orientation have made him a target.

“I've been through so much abuse. I use (the walks) as a way to kind of digest it,” said Mark.

10TV News did not use the man’s last name because of safety concerns.

The 23 year old says he often goes on walks for hours, but he says with each journey through his neighborhood comes unwelcome guests.

“Sometimes, when I go out there, some teenagers will start picking on me and say like, I call them sexuality slurs now,” says Mark. “When you've been picked on most of your life, you'll usually try to ignore it, but now, you're almost at your wit's end and you're almost wanting to fight back.”

Mark says he often listens to his iPod when he goes on his walks to help drown out the negativity.

However, he says he still hears some of it, and that's what he tells his mother.

“They make fun of him because he walks on his tippy toes. They call him faggot, retard, they call him all kinds of things, and they make sexual remarks toward him,” said his mother, Sherry.

His mother says her biggest concern is the safety of her children.  

She says she worries the abuse on his next walk in the neighborhood will turn physical.

“I'm going to protect him. I protected him when he was young and I will protect him until I die,” said Sherry.

Columbus police are investigating the case.  

Sherry says she also reached out to an organization called BRAVO, which could help him with counseling and guidance.

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