Scroll To Top

Gang of Men Threaten to Stab Gay Man and Trans Woman in Viral TikTok

Naya Martinez, one of the men, and Valentino Kyriakou

"They were so, so angry, I don't know why. They literally were so threatened by us ... And all we were doing was standing there waiting to pick up our food."


Police are trying to identify a group of men that were recorded on video making homophobic and transphobic threats to a gay man and a trans woman at a fast-food restaurant in London last month.

The video shows the men yelling at Valentino Kyriakou, 20, and Naya Martinez, 21, according to the BBC.

In a since-removed TikTok, the two were told that if they came back to the northwest London area, they'd be "shanked." The video was shared on other social media channels, going viral.

The news service reports that no arrests have been made yet.

Kyriakou told the BBC that he was afraid he would be attacked during the incident. He explained the men began yelling at them from the street while they were in the restaurant waiting on their food.

"They were calling us every name and then threatening to 'shank' us, which is obviously stab us in the shop, so we just had to leave without even getting all our food. I literally just thought they were about to stab us. They were just going crazy -- it went from one to a hundred," Kyriakou said.

He added, "They were so, so angry, I don't know why. They literally were so threatened by us. ... And all we were doing was standing there waiting to pick up our food."

Martinez said she was in shock after the ordeal.

"I remember this one guy saying to me 'you are not from here and this does not run here ... and I was like 'why, I'm ordering my food?' and he was like 'no, I beg you get out or I will stab you,'" she said. "All I felt in that moment was Oh, my God, I am going to get touched soon, this is going to be physical."

She told the BBC that situations like the one that happened to her and Kyriakou happen all the time in London.

"I was surprised the video went that viral and it's getting people's attention," Martinez said. "I'm glad this has happened because it might be the perfect opportunity for us to speak out and let the people know this stuff is actually happening -- it's unbelievable."

"I believe this will help others and raise awareness because in today's society there's so much about the LGBT community going unrecognized," Kyriakou said. "And this is a massive example of that -- transphobia and homophobia raw."

London police told the BBC that they were aware of the video and are currently investigating.

In a statement, TikTok said it had removed the video for violating its community guidelines.

"We are also taking measures to proactively remove any copies of the video that may be in circulation," the company said. "Hate has no place on TikTok, and we do not tolerate any content or accounts that attack, incite violence against, or otherwise dehumanize people on the basis of their gender or sexuality. We work aggressively to combat hateful behavior by removing accounts and content that violate our policies, as we did in this instance."

(Editor's note: Some readers may find the below video upsetting.)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories