Victim of homophobic tube attack ‘forced to apologise for being gay’: I’m not sorry for my sexuality
A teenager who was choked and forced to apologise for being gay in a homophobic attack has said that he is proud of being gay and does not apologise for his sexual orientation.
19 year old Will Mayrick told the Evening Standard that he has no shame in his sexuality after he was the victim of an attack on the London Underground.
The photography student from Clapham, South London described the homophobic attack in October, where he was choked and made to apologise for being gay.
Mayrick said: “We’d got a bit of glitter on and they obviously didn’t like that. They shouted ‘f***ing gays’ and ‘fag’, whatever they could think of.
“Then one grabbed hold of me and got my head in a headlock. The other grabbed my phone and tried to make me apologise for being gay.”
He continued: “I said that’s absolutely not going to happen, that’s not who I am. But he got me so tight round the neck that if I didn’t say something I wouldn’t have been able to breathe.
“At the same time the other guy was pulling something out of his coat. I was so, so scared.”
“I’m proud of the fact that I’m gay, I would never want to change. I’m not sorry.” said the 19-year-old.
“But at the time I thought if I don’t apologise I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
When asked about the attacker’s motivations, Meyrick said it could have been down to a lack of knowledge: “Possibly if homophobia was on their school curriculum it wouldn’t have happened.”
Meyrick was with a group of friends travelling to a fancy dress event at London’s O2 arena one evening when he was attacked by two people.
According to British Transport Police, the alleged attackers boarded the Jubilee line train at West Ham station and began verbally abusing the victim and his friends, hurling homophobic slurs at the victim.
When challenged, they became more aggressive and pulled Meyrick from his seat and into a chokehold.
The second offender took the victim’s phone before, making threats to stab him.
They demanded the victim apologise for being gay, which eventually the victim did as he was struggling to breathe.
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The British Transport police are treating the incident as a hate crime.
Two 16-year-old boys were arrested on suspicion of assault and were later released on bail.
At the time of the incident, the British Transport police released a statement saying: “Hate crime will not be tolerated by British Transport Police. We believe that everyone has the right to travel safety.
“We won’t tolerate behaviour where someone is targeted because they are perceived to be different, or made to feel uncomfortable on their journey.”