CHICAGO (FOX 32 NEWS) - Pride Parade is a massive celebration, a big party among the LGBT community and beyond.
However, the upbeat spirits of the day came crashing down for Michael Rakow as he walked down Barry Avenue with his best friend on Sunday.
At the time, he was giving hugs to anyone that wanted one.
"I just said 'Happy Pride' and had my arms open and the guy didn't want it, so I backed up and I continued to walk but, that wasn't enough for him," Rakow said.
The next thing Michael knew he was on the ground, in a pool of his own blood.
"He came up from behind me with the brass knuckle and hit me in my head," Rakow said.
Neighbors just walking to the parade saw what happened.
"I remember her just screaming, like 'this is Boystown, this is Boystown,' and I think that, for me personally, really hit home because this is like, you know, my neighborhood and this is supposed to be a safe space," Kelsey Swyter, a witness at the scene said.
Rakow now has 14 stitches in his head.
"It just hurts to know that somebody could be so hateful," Rakow said. "To be at such an event that's so colorful and for people to be happy and for people to be able to celebrate who they are as a person and an individual and then you come here and something like this happens to you."
Chicago Police are reviewing surveillance video from businesses along Broadway, where the three men may have ran to after the attack.
"My main wish would just be that they could catch the guy that did this to me so that justice can be served," Rakow said.