Gay Men Attacked on New Year’s Day

Jordan DevinPolice are investigating an attack on two gay men that occurred in the early hours of New Years Day. Jordan Devin (29, pictured) and a friend were assaulted by two men after leaving The Court Hotel.

The assault occurred after 2am in the Perth Cultural Centre on the corner of James Street and Beaufort Street.

Devin says the two men shouted profanities before a series of punches knocked both him and his friend to the ground. Devin believes that the attack was targeted due to his sexuality.

“These two guys came at us from behind and gave us a shove,” Devin told OUTinPerth. Devin said he fell forward and after a few word were exchanged he was repetitively hit in the face. “There were a few punches to the face before I fell down and then I fell to the ground, once I was one the ground they were on either side of me just pummeling my head.”

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At the end of the altercation both Devin and his companion had bruises, cuts which needed stitching and concussions. Devin is grateful for the assistance of the staff of the Court Hotel who quickly assisted the pair. Devin also praises the response of the police.

Devin shared his concern that there is open homophobic aggression on the streets of Perth, noting that he had found it more obvious since returning home after living overseas for a number of years. “At least once a week walking the streets of Perth you’ll get called a faggot,” said Devin, “it’s not something that we should put up with anymore, not in 2014.”

Pride WA Co-President Michelle Rigg said it is a great concern that attacks of this nature are occurring. Rigg said it is important that people are confident enough to report these events and noted that many incidents may not be reported because people are still concerned about the attention it may draw towards their sexuality.

“It’s quite sad,” said Rigg, “This is Pride’s 25th year, Pride started and the parade started because of these issues 25 years ago, and we’re still talking about them today.”

Rigg said gay people still have moments of fear. “Being gay and walking down the street with your partner you’ve always got that guarded approach, do you hold hands, do you hug, do you kiss? And that’s because of the homophobia out there.

Rigg argues that the federal government’s reluctance to acknowledge gay and lesbian relationships as equal contributes to homophobia in society.

“Until things like marriage equality get acknowledged by the federal government and gay and lesbian relationships are truly acknowledged by the level of that hierarchy, then there is not a strong approach from the people who are ruling our country that we should be treated equally – and that is a big problem.” Rigg said.

Graeme Watson

 

 

 

 

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