Two gay men in New Zealand were told to “go back to the gas chamber where you belong” in an unprovoked verbal assault.
Max Tweedie wrote on Facebook that he and his friend were accosted by a woman who came up to them on Wednesday (December 12) at a popular cafe in Auckland‘s prosperous Herne Bay suburb and “told us that we needed to get wives.”
The woman, who Tweedie said “came up to our table specifically to hurl homophobic abuse at us,” allegedly added that the men “were disgusting and that we were putting everyone off their lunch.”
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Tweedie, who works as an events officer at the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, continued that “after I repeatedly asked her to leave, and told her it was harassment, it got worse.”
“She told us that we were harassing her by being ‘fags’ and that we should ‘go back to the gas chamber where we belong,'” he said.
“Only after verbally asking for help to remove her, did she leave,” he told his followers.
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“I have never been the target of such vitriol, and I’m so shaken and just so angry.
“I wanted to share this to try and dispel the idea that we’re warmly accepted into society”
— Max Tweedie
“In a state of such disbelief that not only could someone be thinking such disgusting thoughts in our city in 2018, but that she said that to my face.”
Tweedie, who holds a leadership position in the Young Greens of New Zealand, highlighted the discrimination faced by other members of the queer community, saying that “it puts into perspective the much more common harassment of our trans and non-binary whānau (family).”
He added that “it just shows that we are not f**king there yet. But I am fine, just a bit shaken.
“I wanted to share this to try and dispel the idea that we’re warmly accepted into society, and rather we’re still having to demand the bare minimum of tolerance, and freedom from homophobic harassment.”
Tweedie wrote on Twitter on Thursday (December 13) that “to get the woman to leave I threatened to call the police, and I still plan on filing a police report about the incident to make sure that homophobic harassment is recorded and counted.”
“To be clear, there’s no cognitive dissonance there,” he said.
And Tweedie told Newshub that being targeted in this way would not stop him from “going out and being queer.”