New York City’s police commissioner has apologized for the 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn that catalyzed the modern LGBT rights movement. (June 6)
A gruesome assault on a London bus has left two gay women injured, in what the mayor of London called “a disgusting, misogynistic attack.”
Police said Friday they are investigating the attack and seeking witnesses who were present.
After entering a double-decker bus in the Camden neighborhood of London May 30, Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend, identified only as Chris, began to be cat-called by a group of four men on the top level.
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions,” Geymonat wrote in a statement on Facebook.
Geymonat did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
To appease the men and “calm things down,” Geymonat said she started joking with them. They were the only passengers on the bus, she added, but it was not clear who took the grisly image.
However, the men, who allegedly threw coins at them, soon began attacking Geymonat’s girlfriend.
“I immediately went there by impulse and tried to pull her out of there and they started punching me,” she told the BBC.
“I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back,” Geymonat wrote on Facebook. “I don’t remember whether or not I lost consciousness. Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding all over.”
Both women were hospitalized for facial injuries, London Metropolitan Police said. Authorities declined to comment further when reached by USA TODAY.
“This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack,” wrote London mayor Sadiq Khan in a tweet. “Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London.”
According to a British government survey from February, two-thirds of LGBT people in the United Kingdom are afraid of public displays of affection due to fear of “a negative reaction from others.”
“This attack is an upsetting reminder of how much we still have to do for LGBT equality,” said British LGBT nonprofit Stonewall in a statement to USA TODAY. “It’s tempting to think that in 2019, lesbians and bi women are safe from attacks like these, and indeed we all should be. But sadly, this isn’t the reality.”
Geymonat said that she’s been unable to return to work since the attack. She said she shared the gruesome image on Facebook to show how common violence is towards marginalized groups.
“We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence because when you stand up for yourself (expletive) like this happens,” she concluded her post.
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