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Former NYC Firefighter Files Federal Lawsuit After Colleagues Call Him ‘Faggot’ and ‘Closet Homo’ During Hazing

A former FDNY firefighter from Queens, has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was savagely hazed by colleagues.

The lawsuit claims Michael Troina “was singled out time and time again on account of his race and national origin as a Hispanic American male as well as perceived homosexuality . . . [and] was further threatened with physical violence if he dared to report any incident of battery, harassment or discrimination to the FDNY’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office,” 

Via the New York Post.

Troina said his colleagues “tried to coerce” him go to a strip club and “regularly harassed him by encouraging him to have sex with a stripper.” When he refused, he was called “faggot” and “loser,” the suit claims.

Other abuse alleged in Manhattan court papers included:

  • Being forced to “eat orange juice” with a fork from 12 different plates and then wash the plates.
  • Being told “he could not do the job like the other white firefighters” because he is Hispanic.
  • Being called a “closet homo.”
  • Being excluded from a firehouse volleyball outing, where he was later told he was denigrated with homophobic insults.

The lawsuit states that Troina told a lieutenant about the “degrading and discriminatory incident” but the supervisor told him it was “in good fun and to not take it too hard.”

“At first I sloughed it off as ‘I’m the new guy.’ As it kept going on, it got worse,” said Troina.

Michael Troina was fired on Dec. 21, 2016, just seven days before he would have completed probation. The FDNY insists he was canned after a “failed evaluation.”

The lawsuit, brought by attorney Paul Liggieri, seeks unspecified damages. It names the city, the FDNY, nine firefighters, three lieutenants, two chiefs and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro as defendants.

 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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