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Brisbane drag queen violently assaulted
A 19-year-old Kallangur man has been formally charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm following an attack on a Brisbane drag queen in the clubbing district of Fortitude Valley in Brisbane on Monday morning.
He remains in police custody following an appearance at Brisbane Magistrate’s Court on February 4 and will face court again later this month.
Thom Hjorth, aka Alexei Paige (pictured), was left with multiple facial injuries following the assault whilst waiting in line at a McDonald’s restaurant.
The drag queen has been a popular mainstay and host of the Sunday night Fluffy parties held at the Family nightclub in the Valley. Following work this week, Hjorth walked to the Brunswick St Mall on Monday morning and decided to stop by McDonald’s.
He told the Star Observer that a man became uncomfortable with his appearance in drag while he was talking with McDonald’s staff. Despite Hjorth trying to defuse the situation, the man allegedly punched him in the face before running out.
Hjorth was then given cold packs by McDonald’s staff. When police arrived at the scene, Hjorth informed them that he would be pressing charges.
The full extent of his injuries include a busted lip, bloodied nose and an inner lip/mouth injury that will require surgery to remove a portion of skin that was left detached.
Like many LGBTI community members in Brisbane, experiencing varying levels of homophobic abuse in Fortitude Valley is not new to Hjorth.
“I’ve previously stated that I don’t normally walk around by myself in drag anyway but ill definitely make sure a few mates are with me, better to be safe than sorry,” he said.
“In a town filled with nightclubs and bars of all types there sadly will always be a scrap here and there.”
Hjorth said he does not want the community to fear going out on the strip or to feel the need to hide away. He also vowed to continue working in the area, something he has done for over a decade.
He thanked the staff and the police for their help following the incident.