Gay couple say they were kicked off a London bus after driver went on ‘racist, homophobic tirade’
A gay couple have said they were kicked off a London bus after a driver went on a racist and homophobic tirade.
Omar Okai, 51, said the “humiliating” incident took place on a number 25 bus after he and his boyfriend, 36-year-old Juan Salas Carranza, were out in London at around 10pm on Friday.
The theatre director said they were left “shocked and disgusted” after the driver apparently said “I bet you like it in the back door”, as they boarded the bus at the back at Tottenham Court Road.
He said he and Carranza have now filed a formal complaint against the driver to Transport for London.
Okai said they had put out their hands to stop the bus but that the driver ignored them and drove on.
After they caught up with the bus at a later stop, the couple boarded at the back door, as the front doors were closed.
The director says the driver then said: “Why did you use the back door?.. the front doors were closed for a reason.”
He also asked: “How long have you been using buses in this country?”, despite Okai telling him that he is British.
The driver then said “I bet you like it in the back door anyway”, says Okai.
After the confrontation, the driver then made an announcement saying: “This bus is not going any further and people need to get off”.
Okai says: “It was in such a nasty way. We got off the bus but realised other passengers stayed on. He then opened the front doors and allowed another lady to enter and then he drove off.”
Speaking to the Evening Standard, he said: “You don’t have to call me a poof and a queer to be homophobic. This on a bus in your own country in 2016, that’s disgusting.”
In a letter to TfL, Okai says: “I would like an explanation, not just an apology, as I will be taking it further.
More from PinkNews
“This kind of behaviour is not acceptable in any shape or form in Great Britain and as a British citizen born here, I am not accepting it. My partnerand I were humiliated and intimidated, being made to leave the bus.
“In a multi-racial, poly-sexual society, this can’t be allowed to pass. I use the transport system day in, day out and have never been so insulted.”
TfL has said it will investigate the incident.
A spokesperson told the Standard: “We are concerned to hear of this incident and are investigating it with Tower Transit, the operator of the 25 bus route.
“We expect the highest standard of public service from bus drivers.”
The incident has also been reported by Okai to the Metropolitan Police.