The NSW Police have arrested two teenage boys for allegedly carrying out brazen homophobic attacks across the City of Sydney. 

According to the ABC, the gay victims were egged, bashed, and degraded on February 6.

Trigger Warning: This story has details of homophobic attacks which might be distressing for some readers. 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.

Waterloo Attack

On February 6, around 8:30am, a 24-year-old man was attacked in Waterloo while he was waiting at the bus stop on the corner of Bourke and McEvoy streets.

The teens asked the man if he was gay, and when he replied “yes” he was egged in the face, chest, and eyes.

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A bystander who tried to intervene and stop the teens from fleeing was threatened with bodily harm.

The second victim, a 19-year-old man, was walking past Oaks Sydney Castlereagh Suites in Haymarket around 9pm on the same date, when a black Volkswagen pulled alongside. 

One of the teens in the car again asked the man if he was gay. When the man said “yes,” one of the teens jumped out and attacked the man, leaving him with significant facial bruising. 

A friend of the man, a 20-year-old woman, tried to intervene but was pelted with eggs before the teens fled.

Attackers Found

The second attack was caught on CCTV and the police were able to locate the attackers at their homes in Bankstown and Greenacre.

The boys, aged 16 and 17,  have been arrested and face charges including “affray, affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault.” 

Detective Superintendent Rohan Cramsie said that “Police will allege that the motivation was bias-related and we really ask the community to come forward and help us — we can’t solve these matters alone.”

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“This type of thing just cannot be tolerated,” he told the ABC.

Attacks Occur A Few Weeks Before Mardi Gras Season

The attacks came a few weeks before the Mardi Gras season and in the midst of national debates on the Religious Discrimination Bill. According to Dr Christopher Pepin-Neff, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney who focused on LGBTQI politics, “Increased public salience of trans and queers issues can give rise to increased violence, whether it’s the postal vote and marriage equality or the Religious Discrimination Bill and the Mardi Gras season. 

“Some types of people come to the surface when LGBTQI issues are in the news and the issues are available because they have a grudge or feel the gays owe them something. This is a sad reality but a reminder that Mardi Gras was a protest against a prejudice that continues.”

Last week, the Victoria Police had arrested six teenagers aged between 14 and 19 for allegedly carrying out homophobic attacks on gay men in Melbourne. The boys would pose as adults on dating apps to lure gay men to parklands in Ashwood, a suburb around 14 kilometres from Melbourne CBD, and then assault them.

 

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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