In a yet another glaring homophobic attack in London, a gay couple was physically assaulted and suffered severe facial injuries after they refused to kiss while travelling on a London bus on May 30. Melania Geymonat and her partner Chris were on board a bus in West Hampstead when a gang of teenagers aged between 15 and 18 attacked the couple.
The couple was reportedly asked about sexual positions and gestures when the boys suspected they were gay. "They surrounded us and started saying really aggressive stuff, things about sexual positions, lesbians and claiming we could kiss so they could watch us," Geymont told BBC.
The couple said that they initially took the matter as a joke and acted calm, but soon the situation went out of hand. "My partner Chris even acted as if she were sick and they started throwing coins and next thing I know, they are punching her in the face," she added.
Geymont said that as soon as she tried to help Chris, even she was physically assaulted and suffered injuries. She said that she had earlier suffered verbal abuse due to her sexuality, but a physical assault on the couple had not happened ever.
Attackers arrested as the incident sparks outrage
The police have arrested four teenage boys who were found involved in the homophobic crime as the incident has sparked national outrage over the recurring attacks on the LGBT community in London.
"This was a sickening attack and my thoughts are with the couple affected. Nobody should ever have to hide who they are or who they love and we must work together to eradicate unacceptable violence towards the LGBT community," President Theresa May said while condemning the incident.
The official reports suggest that during the period between 2014 and 2018, the number of homophobic crimes in London alone has doubled from 1,488 to 2,308. The increase in the crime rate has visibly increased fears among the LGBT community, who even avoid holding hands in public.
Geymont said that she is not afraid to show her real self to the people but still is disappointed as London which is one of the most modern cities in the world is still not come to terms with different sexualities. Even as the June is being celebrated as the month of gay pride and one of the largest LGBT festivals is currently underway in the city, the bus attack has served as a grim reminder on how the reforms and security are still needed to address the concerns of LGBT community.