July 16, 2020 | News | No Comments
The head of a French gay rights group suffered a broken nose and insults on a Paris street in what he called a shocking homophobic attack.
Guillaume Melanie, president of the Urgence Homophobie association which helps victims of LGBT violence around the world, said he was attacked as he was leaving a restaurant with a group of activists.
"Tonight it’s my turn," Mr Melanie tweeted, alongside a picture of his bruised and bloodied face.
“Homophobic attack outside a restaurant. Nose broken. Shocked. Blood everywhere. I’m homosexual and this is 2018.,” he wrote.
Mr Melanie is filing a police complaint against persons unknown.
He had been celebrating with friends and colleagues after a foreign victim of anti-LGBT violence had successfully obtained a French residence permit.
"We were somewhat obstructing the way in the street and a man pushed us rather violently.
"I said ‘Go easy’ and then another man who was with him said ‘You’re just a dirty faggot’ and ‘You should all be burned’ and punched me hard,” he told AFP.
Ce soir c’est mon tour.
Agression homophobe à la sortie d’un restau.
Du sang partout.
Je suis homosexuel, et nous sommes en 2018.@SOShomophobie @Tof_Beaugrand @stop_homophobie @Lyes_Alouane @MarleneSchiappa pic.twitter.com/O8nxg5rk3C
— Guillaume Mélanie (@Guillaumelanie) October 16, 2018
Mr Melanie, who suffered a broken nose, received messages of support from several politicians. "I’m doing OK. I’m still standing and combative. Their hatred won’t have my hatred," he wrote on Twitter.
This is by no means the first homophobic attack to shock the French capital in recent months.
Earlier this month, a gay couple were insulted and attacked for kissing on the street in the northeast of the city. One of their two attackers was arrested and sentenced to a year’s imprisonment.
Last month, Arnaud Gagnoud, 27-year old actor, was mocked and beaten with a helmet after hugging his partner outside a theatre in eastern Paris’s 20th arrondissement.
Agression choquante et intolérable dans le 20ème arrondissement de Paris. Deux jeunes hommes qui s'embrassent et s'ensuit une rouée de coups. On ne compte plus la succession d'agressions homophobe et transphobe. Jusqu'où irons-nous ? Soutien total à @arnaudgagnoud et son copain. pic.twitter.com/SKfFKziMpH
— Joël Deumier (@joeldeumier) September 19, 2018
A teenager has been charged over the attack, which left Mr Gagnoud requiring seven stitches.
“I knew it would happen to me…I just didn’t know when it would take place. So it’s today,” he wrote afterwards on Instagram.
Then on October 8th, two young women were beaten up in public for the same reason and on October 13th a man was attacked in the 15th arrondissement for wearing make-up.
In a tweet, he said: "I never thought that I would tweet something like this but it doesn’t only happen to others: I was a victim of homophobic aggression last night in the 15th arrondissement of Paris because I wore make-up."
Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, expressed support for Mr Melanie, saying it must act as a "collective jolt" in the fight against homophobia and inviting the NGO head to work with the city towards an action plan.
"There can be no question of resigning ourselves to this violence," she said.
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