An LGBTQ+ man says it’s been “completely demoralizing” after no one tried to stop several fellow London Tube riders from attacking him in late November.
The man, Alan Hunter, is a retail worker living in London, according to The Independent. He said he was attacked on the Tube last month after a woman called him a “faggot.”
It comes as new data reveals an alarming increase in homophobic and transphobic hate crimes in the country, according to the Press Association news agency.
Hunter, 35, told the PA that the information “doesn’t really surprise” him. He added that homophobia is often just “bubbling under the surface.”
The attack left Hunter bloody and bruised. He said he was disappointed no one tried to intervene on his behalf.
“People are protecting themselves and trying to be safe in a dangerous place,” he said. “But at the same time, it’s just completely demoralizing, if I saw someone getting hurt I would jump in and help.”
Hunter said that a woman called him a “f****** faggot” after he asked her and her friends to stop using nitrous oxide — also known as laughing gas — balloons.
The two argued before the woman attacked him, according to Hunter. Then her friends began attacking him as well.
He said she pushed him in the head then, “grabbed my hair, I grabbed hers in self-defense, and then the six lads jumped on top of us.”
The man said he had also yelled insults at the woman, but only after she had started yelling slurs at him.
“Had she not called me a ‘f****** faggot’ I wouldn’t have said anything,” Hunter said. “I refuse for us to be second-class citizens and just stand there and take it.”
He told the PA that this was his first time experiencing violence, but he’s been verbally abused before. Hunter explained that he believes a growing conservatism in some youth has caused the spike in hate crimes.
“With Trumpism and Bolsonaro in Brazil, there’s been very rapidly a rise in such right-wing politics and it’s given a free mouthpiece to people who for a long time couldn’t say anything,” he said. “You can’t put Mentos in Coke without the thing absolutely kicking off, and basically politics was the Mentos in the Coke.”
Police confirmed they are investigating a homophobic attack, according to The Gay Times.
“British Transport Police received a report of a homophobically aggravated assault on the Jubilee line at London Bridge station shortly after midnight on Sunday, November 28,” the police said. “We take hate crimes extremely seriously and are making a number of inquiries into this incident.”