Anueta Madison-Vanderbuilt and her girlfriend were shopping last Thursday at Craigieburn Coles in Melbourne’s north, when they were confronted by an ugly scene, after a man verbally attacked the couple for kissing in public.

In footage of the incident which has since gone viral, Madison-Vanderbuilt is seen trying to engage with the irate man, to which he replied

“I choose what I want my kids to see, when they grow up they can choose what they want … when I come to a shopping centre, I would like to see a nice calm environment.”

@its_anuetaRecorded for our safety. I have 3 kids & can’t believe he did this in front of his! #homophobe ##tiktokhelp ##lgbtq ##loveislove ##mama ##queer ##melbourne

♬ original sound – Anueta Madison-Vanderbuilt

Things quickly escalated, when the man realised that the altercation was being filmed, prompting him to lunge at the two women in an attempt to steal their mobile.

“If you record it, I’ll actually wipe your phone out of your face, because I’m not in the mood today … get out of my face and don’t talk to me,” he said, adding that he would ‘snap’ the phone if he was being recorded.

The hypocrisy here is that his man took issue with his children seeing two women showing affection in public, yet he had no issue with exposing his children to him verbally abusing them.

Women Say, They Received No Help From Staff

Madison-Vanderbuilt, herself a parent of three,  told that she had kissed her girlfriend to “say thank you and within that same second when I kissed her, we heard a man saying, ‘calm down, calm down’.”

“We turned and saw he was with kids so thought he was saying it to his kids … then when he was walking past with his wife and three children and said, ‘Calm down, calm down guys’. That’s when I realised, he was talking to me.”

“I just had enough – as women you get harassed by men and fetishsized … we just had enough of people saying things and snickering and making remarks,”

While following the altercation, Coles released a statement saying that they oppose discrimination and were concerned to hear ‘about this customer’s experience’, according to Madison-Vanderbuilt, staff at the store provided little help for the pair.

“They weren’t helpful at all,”Madison Vanderbuilt said, adding that the manager on duty told them he had no power to reprimand customers over their comments, instead advising them to call the police.

‘We didn’t want to provoke him; we just wanted an answer as to why he would make those comments to us. People need to be able to say that being homophobic isn’t ok without expecting violence. I hope people around us stand up for someone next time. The world the way it is now, we should be able to show more love.”

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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