A woman and her girlfriend were viciously beaten when they refused to kiss each other to entertain a gang of men on a London bus.
The horrifying attack happened in London at around 2:30am when the couple was returning home from a date.
Melania Geymonat, 28, from Uruguay and her girlfriend, identified as Chris, an American, were traveling on top of a double-decker bus late last month when a gang of men began to harass them.
Melania was left with a suspected broken nose, while her girlfriend was beaten up.
She posted on Facebook:
“We must have kissed or something because these guys came after us.”
“I don’t remember if they were already there or if they got on after us. There were at least four of them.”
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions. I don’t remember the whole episode, but the word ‘scissors’ stuck in my mind.”
“They wanted us to kiss so they could watch us. I tried to defuse the situation as I’m not a confrontational person, telling them to please leave us alone as Chris wasn’t feeling well.”
Melania also said that she even tried making jokes to calm them down, but she didn’t succeed. The situation quickly turned into violence.
“The next thing I remember was Chris in the middle of them, and they were beating her. I didn’t think about it and went in.”
“I was pulling her back and trying to defend her, so they started beating me up. I don’t even know if I was knocked unconscious. I felt blood, I was bleeding all over my clothes and all over the floor.”
“We went downstairs, and the police were there.”
She said that one of the men was speaking Spanish while the others had a British accent.
The gang also robbed their stuff before fleeing the bus.
Melania moved to London in February, and she’s on a year’s sabbatical from her medical studies. She said that she was shocked by the homophobic attack as she always felt safe as a gay woman in London.
“What upsets me the most is that violence has become a common thing, that sometimes it’s necessary to see a woman bleeding after having been punched to feel some kind of impact.”
“I’m tired of being taken as a sexual object, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because.”
“We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic, and homophobic violence.”
The homophobic attacks are on the rise, and in 2016, 16 percent of lesbians, gay, and bisexuals had experienced harassment, Campaign group Stonewall reported.
Laura Russell, the Director of the Campaign’s, Policy and Research at Stonewall, said:
“This attack is an upsetting reminder of how much we still have to do for LGBT equality. It’s tempting to think that in 2019, we are safe from attacks like these, and indeed, we all should be. But sadly, this isn’t the reality.”
We need people who believe in equality to take action and to come out for LGBT people. If you want a society where everyone feels safe, do something about it today and support LGBT charities, communities, and your LGBT friends and family.”
On Friday, the police department’s Roads and Transport unit posted on Twitter that they had made a break in the case.
The department wrote:
“Arrests have now been made, and the investigation remains ongoing.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan also condemned the assault, in a Friday tweet, saying:
“This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack.”
“Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London.”