Teen girls attacked by homophobic gang after leaving Stoke-on-Trent Pride
Teenagers were attacked in broad daylight by a group who shouted homophobic slurs and physically assaulted them, just after they left Stoke-on-Trent Pride.
Seven teenagers, all aged between 14 and 16, were kicked and punched by a larger group of around 12 youths as they were leaving the Pride event at around 6.10pm on Saturday (June 15).
Staffordshire police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
A 14-year-old bisexual girl said to StokeonTrentLive, “We’d had a great time at Pride then all of a sudden this group appeared and started chasing after the taxi. They pulled open the door and start attacking them.”
“There were girls screaming at us. They told us to ‘go kill yourselves’ and said we should die. One of them shouted ‘faggots’. I’ve had a few things said to me before but nothing like this. It was mainly girls but there were some boys too. It was right outside the YMCA.”
The girl, who has been to Pride four times, said, “I’m part of the LGBT community and this has made me really nervous now. I couldn’t breathe and I was having panic attacks. After it happened I took my Pride flag off and put it in my bag.
“We want to get this out there that homophobia is still a very real problem in a city like Stoke-on-Trent. It’s really shaken us up.”
The assault was recorded by one of the group of teenagers leaving Pride who was walking behind the taxi.
The video has been muted at the request of the victims.
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A 16-year-old girl, who had just attended her first Pride event, has also spoken out about being verbally abused and then watching as her friends were attacked.
“We’d just gone through one of the entrances at about 6.10pm. My friends got in the taxi and these people started shouting horrific comments,” she said.
“They started running after the taxi and the driver stopped. They then pulled open the passenger doors and repeatedly punched my friend. I saw it all happen, it was horrendous. Another of my friends was trying to get them off the taxi and they were hit too.”
“They were calling us ‘gay c***s’ and other horrible names. One of my friends got a fat lip after being hit in the face but luckily he didn’t need to go to hospital.”
“The injuries were only minor but the emotional damage was awful. We’re all scared now.” she said.
The number of homophobic and transphobic hate crimes more than doubled in England and Wales in the last four years.