LGBT community reports violent attacks after Brighton Pride
PinkNews has learned of at least four separate incidents of violence against the LGBT+ community after Brighton Pride on Saturday (August 3).
Although many enjoyed the celebrations, which included Mel C’s show of support for trans people and lip-syncing by police, organisers were also forced to apologise after people with disabilities were confined to an overheated tent with no view of the stage during a headline performance from Kylie Minogue.
Attendee Meg Murphy told PinkNews that she was sexually assaulted by four men during Brighton’s Pride parade.
“I was spat on, had their hands over my breasts and bum, and was pinched, scratched, and groped,” she said.
“I was left feeling shaken, angry, and mostly let-down: how is it that I’ve experienced one of the worst assaults during a time where I am supposed to be safe?
“Where were the organisers? Where was the security that was meant to be on the ground to watch out for and protect myself and my LGBTQ+ siblings from such attacks?”
Meg, a Brighton resident, went to a space she felt safe in and spoke to a friend about what had happened.
However when making her way home she said she had homophobic slurs shouted at her by a group of drunk people.
“I was told to ‘come here you ‘lezza,’ we can show you what a good time looks like,'” Meg told PinkNews.
“The insinuation that straight men can coerce me into sexual relations and somehow change my identity is absolutely appalling.
“The fact that they felt empowered enough to speak in such a way during Pride, a time and space where it is supposed to be safe for me to express who I am with other members of my community, dismays me greatly and highlights exactly how Pride has become so commercialised by pandering to cis-het people that the very people it is supposed to celebrate are pushed to the side-lines.”
A spokesperson for Brighton Pride told PinkNews: “We don’t condone violence against any individual at any time and especially on a Pride weekend. Our thoughts are with the victims of these hate crimes and we hope they feel safe enough to report it to the police.”
One attendee said both they and their partner were assaulted separately on the same evening
Another person, G (PinkNews is maintaining their anonymity at their request), told PinkNews that they were attacked in the St. James area of Brighton, where they live. Their partner was also assaulted separately on the same evening.
“We were attempting to get to my house late at night. I was punched in the face when trying to enter my property and my parter was groped and harassed on the journey back,” they said.
“Police said that there was no CCTV in the area and therefore it would be difficult to locate the individuals or do anything.
“We’re both trans, non-binary and these incidences were traumatising. We gave up trying to make reports. We didn’t expect to experience violence, harassment and discrimination on the day of Pride.”
Taylor, another victim in Brighton, said he was intervening to help someone who was suffering “verbal racial abuse,” when he was punched in the face and called a “dirty little f*ggot.”
One anonymous person also posted on social media: “I was hit by a homophobic c*** who called [me] “names.”
“Everything was so fast, after [I] hit my face in the floor I remember how they did jokes about me… My face hurt and my clothes are covered in blood.”
They added that only one person helped them after the attack.
According to Brighton and Hove News, 44 arrests were made over Brighton Pride weekend, for offences including sexual assault, assault, drugs and public disorder, and 354 people were treated by St John Ambulance volunteers.
Sussex Police have been approached for comment.