Liverpool Pride will ‘shout down’ homophobia after Anfield knife attack

Reiss Smith June 24, 2019
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A topless man with 'Stonewall was a riot' written on his back

A Liverpool Pride organiser has spoken out against the homophobic knife attack which took place in Anfield. (Getty)

Pride in Liverpool has said that this year’s event will rally against homophobic violence, after two men were hospitalised in an anti-gay knife attack on Saturday night (June 22).

Police are searching for three teenagers aged 12 to 15-years-old in connection with the homophobic attack in Liverpool, which left one man with serious but non-life threatening injuries to his head and neck.

John Bird, co-founder of the Liverpool City Region Pride Foundation, said that the age of the suspects is “terrifying,” and called for improved LGBT-inclusive education to stem the current onslaught of homophobic violence by young people.

“The age of the people involved just hammers home that education is vital,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday (June 24).

“All the leaps and bounds we have had in the UK—marriage and adoption rights and 50 years on from the Stonewall Uprising. You would think we were past all this.”

Two men hospitalised after homophobic attack in liverpool

Police said that two men were walking down Manningham Road in Anfield at about 9.20pm on Saturday (June 23) when three teenagers began shouting “homophobic insults” at them.

One of the boys then produced a knife and attacked them.

“It’s terrifying… someone as young as 12 holding a knife and shouting homophobic slurs,” Bird said.

“It’s terrifying… someone as young as 12 holding a knife and shouting homophobic slurs.”

—John Bird, Pride in Liverpool organiser

He added that this year’s Pride in Liverpool would continue as planned on Saturday July 27 with the theme “come as you are.”

“We will continue with that message and shout down this kind of behaviour.”

Police searching for teenagers

Merseyside Police said that both men, who are in their 30s, have been “left incredibly shaken” by the incident.

“This was an appalling and unprovoked attack on two men simply making their way home,” Det Insp Tara Denn said on Sunday (June 23).

“The hate and violence that has been inflicted on them is simply unacceptable and won’t be tolerated on the streets of Merseyside.”

Street view of Manningham Road
The attack took place on Manningham Road, Anfield. (Google Street View)

The stabbing comes just weeks after two queer women were beaten on a London night bus after refusing to kiss for a group of young men.

Dr Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris were left bloodied and injured after the attack on May 30. Geymonat had to have surgery to reset bones in her nose, while Chris was left with a fractured jaw.

Five suspects aged between 15- and 18-years-old have been charged with robbery and aggravated previous bodily harm in connection with the attack on the women. All five have been bailed until July.

More: England, Hate crime, Homophobia, Liverpool

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