Lesbian couple attacked on London bus after refusing to kiss for men
Two women were left bloodied and beaten after a homophobic attack on a London night bus.
Melania Geymonat shared a photograph of herself and her girlfriend Chris covered in blood after they were set upon by a group of four men in the early hours of May 30.
The couple were on night bus in north London heading home from a date when the incident took place.
“We must have kissed or something because these guys came after us,” Geymonat wrote on Facebook on Wednesday (June 5).
“I don’t remember if they were already there or if they got on after us.
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions.”
Woman beaten up by four men on London bus
Geymonat said that she and her girlfriend tried to appease the men with jokes.
“The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them,” she wrote.
“On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up. The next thing I know is I’m being punched.
“I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up.”
Geymonat, whose Facebook profile shows her working as airline cabin crew, said that she has been unable to return to work since the incident which has left her with a suspected broken nose.
“What upsets me the most is that violence has become a common thing,” Geymonat wrote.
“I’m tired of being taken as a sexual object, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up just because.
“I’m tired of being taken as a sexual object.”
“We have to endure verbal harassment and chauvinist, misogynistic and homophobic violence because when you stand up for yourself s**t like this happens.”
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that both women were taken to hospital, where they were treated for facial injuries.
Officers are investigating the attack and have called on witnesses to come forward by calling 101 or tweeting @MetCC and quoting CAD737/30May. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Transport for London (TfL) officials were quick to condemned the assault, with Siwan Hayward, director of compliance, policing and on-street services, saying: “This sickening attack is utterly unacceptable.
“Homophobic behaviour and abuse is a hate crime and won’t be tolerated on our network.”
Laura Russell, director of campaigns, policy and research at Stonewall, called it “an upsetting reminder of how much we still have to do for LGBT equality.”
She added: “It’s also a reminder of the precarious position women still have in society.
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“This wasn’t just a homophobic attack – it had misogyny thrown in for good measure.”
Homophobic hate crime on the rise
There were more than 11,500 reported hate crimes in England and Wales in 2017-18. This is a 27 percent increase on the previous year, which officials attribute to more people coming forward as victims of crime.
In London, homophobic hate crime has been on the rise since the start of the year.
There were 243 reported incidents in April 2019, the highest number since July 2018.
Russell said: “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.
“Underreporting hate crimes is also a huge issue, which is why Stonewall is working with police services across Britain and the Crown Prosecution Service to better support LGBT people reporting abuse. We also need consistent sentencing so that LGBT people know that we’ll be fully supported by the justice system.”