On Saturday, Australia celebrated its LGBTQI communities as Sydney held the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. But, there was no rest for homophobes. In a shocking incident ABC Sydney crime reporter Mark Reddie and his gay friends were targeted by homophobic hoons just hours after the parade. 

“We were leaving a Mardi Gras party and there was a group of four of us. We were walking along Riley Street and a car screeched on its brakes and threw boxes of eggs at us. They sped off laughing. As we walked up the road, there were egg shells everywhere. Clearly they were targeting the LGBTQI community – gay hate crimes still exist,” Reddie told Star Observer.

Reddie had first posted about the incident on his Twitter on Sunday around 3.50 am AEDT, soon after the incident. “Walking home with a group of gay guys and a car drives by and the men inside throw cartons of eggs at us. The male occupants laughing as they sped off,” tweeted Reddie .

If the intention of the homophobic men in the car was to unnerve Reddie and his friends, the journalist had a message for the attackers.

“Wow. If you think some eggs are going to rattle us, think again. You did not succeed. I truly hope you find happiness. That is all,” said Mark Reddie. 

Many on social media condemned the incident, while commenting on the irony that the incident happened during Mardi Gras. 

“How sad that people feel threatened by others because of who they are and choose to love. This is why we still need Mardi Gras. Hope you had a wonderful time last night despite this horrible event,” said one social media user. 

Reddie responded to this message, saying “I couldn’t agree more. The reason I shared it was not to give it air time, but to show that we still have a long way to go. Thanks for your support – means a lot.”

Star Observer contacted the NSW Police to check what action if any they had initiated following Reddie’s tweets. The media unit responded on email asking if the incident had been reported. 

Reddie said he will be reporting the incident to the police on Monday.

Calling Out Homophobia

Two years ago, Mark Reddie, who is openly gay, had revealed that he had received hate mail on World Pride Day on the the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, while he was in New York City to march in the Pride Parade along with 200 other Australians representing Sydney.

“50 yrs since Stonewall Riots paved the way for myself and so many others to live in the world without fear of persecution based on sexuality. Unfortunately on this momentous day, I received hate mail from an extended family member. We still have a long way to go,” Reddie had tweeted in June 2019.

Last week, a gay couple were attacked in New Zealand during the Auckland Pride celebrations. Local drag queen Kourtney Khaos (Ray Gardiner) and his partner Tyler  Vodanovich-Trott, were left lying in a ‘pool of blood’ after being attacked by a group of five men, in what is believed to have been a homophobic attack.

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

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