Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels
A man has been left bloodied after another suspected homophobic attack in Liverpool’s city centre after a night out.
21-year-old Kolade Ladipo and a friend were attacked by two men in a takeaway shop in the early hours of Monday (30 August) The pair had been at the Jamaica Street Carnival event.
It’s the latest in a worrying number of similar incidents happening in Liverpool in recent months.
“Just because I'm gay”
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, Kolade and his friend, Gaia Ahuja, 23, from the DJ group Girls Don’t Sync, entered a takeaway shop on Seel Street at around 2:30am when a man walking by called Kolade a homophobic slur.
Having already had similar abuse earlier that night, when a man had also used homophobic language and thrown a drink at him, Kolade retorted: “Yes I am.” Gaia confronted the man, asking why he was causing a scene, which is when the men became aggressive, according to Kolade.
“He immediately felt threatened and he immediately turned to violence. He started pushing her [Gaia]. And then his friend stood up and stood right in front of me and my friend.
Kolade says no one else came to help the pair despite being witnesses to the incident. “I was screaming, 'Just because I'm gay, literally just because I'm gay'. Everyone could hear me. They could see me covered in blood. They could see it.
“And it's like, 'I'm stood here covered in blood, screaming, 'It's because I'm gay', and no one is coming to my aid. No one is saying anything. Everyone is just staring.”
Kolade told the Liverpool Echo he received homophobic abuse for a third time that night whilst heading home. He told the paper that kind of abuse is normal for him, and that he’s been the victim of attacks before in July when he was attacked and abused twice in 24 hours.
Kolade and his friend haven’t reported Monday’s incident to the police as they say it can be a “long, traumatic process” in doing so.
“I don't want to be gay”
In June three students in Liverpool were all attacked within a week of each other. All described the attacks as unprovoked and that they were targeted due to their sexuality.
Another man was attacked in July and left with injuries to his face. After the attack, he said: “If this is what being gay means, then I don't want to be gay. Literally, if this is what my sexuality results in, then I'll not be gay then, if you just leave me alone.”
Police also revealed images of people of interest in regards to homophobic and transphobic abuse in the city which happened in May.
Following all these attacks a march was held in Liverpool in protest. But there are also numerous other stories, much like these, happening all across the UK, and abroad. Each is a sad and striking reminder that abuse is still very much a constant threat for LGBTQ people in 2021.
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