Words: Alastair James; Image: Pexels
A man has had a homophobic slur carved into his buttocks in a savage homophobic attack in Madrid, which has left the community shocked and prompted protests against violence.
The 20-year-old was attacked on Sunday (5 September) by a group of masked men outside his apartment building in the Spanish capital. The eight men cut the victim’s lip and then carved the Spanish word for f***** into his buttocks.
It comes two months after Samuel Luiz was beaten to death in a homophobic attack in the northern city of A Coruña, which also sparked mass protests across Spain.
“This message of hatred is awful, vicious”
According to the Spanish paper, El País, the victim says he was attacked by eight men, with covered faces, outside his home in the Malasaña district. The young man had “maricón” (the Spanish equivalent for “f****t”) shouted at him before the word was cut into him.
The paper also reports that police are investigating this incident as a hate crime. In a statement, police said: “This is the first assault of this kind that we have heard of.”
Speaking to El País Rubén López, the coordinator of the Madrid Observatory against LGTBphobia, said everyone was in a “state of shock,” and that initially it seemed like it wasn’t homophobically motivated, and more by “a settling of scores, something more,” but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
“It’s the toughest thing I’ve seen in Madrid in my six years at the observatory and my 17 years as an activist. This message of hatred is awful, vicious.”
López added that while the Observatory has noted a fall in homophobic assaults, that figure is not a true representation of the reality as people have been shut at home due to Coronavirus.
“Hate has no place in our society”
Spanish LGBT organisations have banded together to call for a protest on Saturday (11 September) in response to the violence.
Gracias a todas las entidades que se están sumando.@Kifkif_iguales@acciontriangulo @NoBinaries_es @Respeta__ @arcopoli @Galehi_Familias @FTriangulo @MadridSummit @madridorgullo @ChrysallisAEFMT @SomosCDD @FuenlaEntiende #redlgtbi #aegal Nos vemos el sábado a las 19h en Sol. pic.twitter.com/RE3OVrcT7u— COGAM (@COGAM) September 7, 2021
The country’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, condemned the attack saying, “Hate has no place in our society”.
En nuestra sociedad no tiene cabida el odio. Mi rotunda condena a este ataque homófobo. No vamos a permitirlo. Seguiremos trabajando por un país abierto y diverso, donde nadie tenga miedo a ser quien es, en el que todos/as vivamos libres y seguros.— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) September 6, 2021
Mi cariño al joven agredido. https://t.co/YDjWENyeVa
Reuters is reporting Sánchez is chairing an urgent meeting on Friday (10 September) of the Spanish commission on hate crime following the incident. A government spokesperson has also said there is legislation working its way through parliament to address these types of incidents.
A recent YouGov poll found that 91 percent of people in Spain would be supportive if a family member came out as LGBTQ compared to 85 percent in the UK and 57 percent in France.
The Attitude September Style Issue is out now.