While many celebrated a loved-up Valentine’s Day, two Caulfield North men had a very different experience, lucky to escape relatively unharmed from a senseless homophobic attack.
A 39-year-old man, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Southern Star he and his 30-year-old housemate were harassed, sustaining minor injuries in the attack by a group of 10 men outside their home.
The attack occurred at 3pm on Dandenong Rd near Kooyong Rd on Sunday, February 14 when a group of men in their early 20s hurled homophobic abuse at the housemates as they waited at the tram stop.
“I didn’t have any change for the tram so I said to [my housemate] I’ll go back and get some change and that’s when they were calling out ‘faggots’ and ‘homos’, ” the man told Southern Star.
The pair didn’t retaliate and instead headed back to their apartment to wait for the aggressors to leave. Three of the men ran after them threateningly.
One housemate was kicked in the back of the leg by one attacker and as the pair reached the apartment, the 39-year-old was punched in the jaw, leaving him with a cut mouth.
“They were just shouting out ‘poofters’, ” he said.
“One of them was running towards a car and sort of rolled over the front of the car like a show-off thing.
“When we were trying to get back into the house, [my housemate] got the key in the door and then one of them started to push his way into the stairwell…that’s when one punched me in the jaw.”
The group continued to shout homophobic insults until a tram arrived.
The man said he believed the group had been drinking before the attack.
“I think it was a bit of showing-off on their part. Maybe one of them was trying to impress his friends. It just seemed like they were on some warpath.”
Following the incident, the man said he is much more wary.
“I’m not going to let it control me. Usually when you’re in the gay community, you don’t want to cause trouble or fight back.
“If I’d fought back, then seven of them would come rushing at the house. It’d probably get very messy.”
The man said he would lodge a report with police.
info: Victims of homophobic violence can contact www.antiviolence.info or Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers on 9247 6944.