** UPDATE Wednesday, June 29 2011**
A statement from Nathan Hudson
There are a number of discrepancies between my claim and the story offered on the website of the Hotel New York. This is not entirely unexpected, but I do have some aversion to making this event, which was quite painful to me, into a public dissection.
On this occasion I will manage to cope with having been assaulted, it’s happened to me before, on other occasions, in different circumstances. What I do have real trouble with, is the possibility that the fight against homophobia could be tempered by the reporting of an incident which may appear to be less substantial due to the involvement of alcohol. For this reason I’m choosing to bow out of further public comment on this incident. Thank you to all of the people who have sent through or given their support.
The openly gay lead singer of Faker, Nathan Hudson, was allegedly attacked after performing at a gig at the Hotel New York in Launceston at the weekend.
The Sydney-based singer took to Twitter on Sunday morning, stating: “My recollection of last night is that I got beat up … It felt homophobic and it felt backward”. He later confirmed that the tweet was authentic.
“We signed a tour poster for the venue and I made a reference about celebrating equal marriage rights in New York, given the hotel name, which the manager was visibly unimpressed about,” Hudson told the Star Observer.
Hudson said he was later dragged out of the bar by a man who asked if he wanted to fight, telling him “you’ve been shitting me all night”. He said he refused but was “king-hit”.
“It was plainly aggressive, but felt connected to a candidness about sexuality,” Hudson told the Star Observer.
“As someone who has grown up being called ‘fag’ before I even knew what it meant, I’m hesitant to draw a parallel between aggression and homophobia, but that’s what I felt this to be,” he said.
Hudson said he had a bruised cheekbone but was otherwise ok. He was yet to decide whether he’d contact police about the incident.
Hotel New York released an official statement this afternoon saying they were shocked to hear Hudson’s recollection of events, saying it was “somewhat different to what happened” and what is recorded on their surveillance.
“After Mr Hudson performed he disappeared from the venue for numerous hours and when he returned at 3:30am he showed signs of being extremely intoxicated. He was refused entry to the nightclub but told he could retire to his room on the premises,” it read.
“Mr Hudson initially agreed but then insisted on going back into the club. He was then escorted back out to the front of the premises where he was monitored by our crowd controllers. Under Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming legislation, it would have been an offence to allow Mr Hudson into a licensed area whilst showing signs of intoxication.”
Management then alleges that Hudson returned at 5.50am and insisted on being served despite the venue being closed.
“After getting into a verbal argument with the venue’s manager they pushed each other and Nathan fell over. Nathan was then helped back up and assisted by other staff members to his room.”
They also claim that at no stage during Hudson’s time at Hotel New York was there mention of his sexuality.
“We are disappointed that Mr Hudson feels a homophobic attack took place… and we are currently in contact with Mr Hudson’s management to rectify this situation,” the statement concluded.
Hotel New York is popular with touring musicians and DJs in Tasmania. Faker’s performance at the venue was one of the first for the band since they began promoting their new album, Get Loved, which is released later in the year.
In May, the Tasmanian Government announced it was giving a $30,000 grant to three community organisations to help fight discrimination and abuse against the state’s LGBTI community.
Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said the funding would contribute to a more accepting and safe Tasmania for everyone.
“National surveys indicate that discrimination, prejudice and abuse against LGBTI Tasmanians is worse than the national average, making it crucial that we have robust, reliable data upon which to build effective anti-discrimination programs,” Croome said at the time.
Earlier this month, an anti-equality meeting convened by the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Christian Lobby was held in Launceston to ‘save marriage’.