Words: Steve Brown
A man was left unconscious and with a broken jaw following a homophobic attack in Manchester.
Michael Evans was walking towards Manchester’s Gay Village from Oxford Road on Saturday (June 1) after attending a finale party of a drag queen race with some of the performers when two men approached them.
The two men started verbally abusing two of the drag queens, Whiplash and Michael’s partner Cherry Valentine, the Manchester Evening News reported.
One of the men tried to grab a stage prop from one of the drag queens who, according to friend Jack Goodison, asked the man if he could go away.
Michael went over to find out what was happening when he allegedly was ‘punched in the jaw’ and then from behind causing him to fall and bang his head on a lamp post and a wall.
Jack said: “He knocked him out. He was unconscious on the floor for 30 seconds. His face ballooned out.”
A DJ who was also with the group went to help out and was also punched in the neck.
“[The offender] shouted, ‘I have another one’. He was bragging about the fact that he had punched another person. It was horrible,” Jack continued.
“Police were there within seconds. In this day and age, it is disgusting that people are targeting people because of what they look like.”
Following the attack, Michael's partner, Cherry Valentine wrote on Facebook: "Last night after a gig, waiting for a taxi with friends, we were verbally and physically attacked - because of who we are. A completely unprovoked crime, and that’s exactly what it was, a hate crime.
"It’s sometimes hard to believe that in 2019 they’re still people around who discriminate, judge, and want to harm people who they think are classed as ‘different’.
"But then I remember what type of world that we live in, where they will always be the few who spread hate.
"You best believe we stood our ground, but there is only so much you can do. I really do appreciate the emergency services and how fast they act.
"I hope that the people who did this will be found and hopefully spreading this will help, I don’t know.
"After the fractures, the blood, and the bruises, if I didn’t know it before, I definitely do now. They’re some truly cruel people in the world.
"I’m sure news will spread about the events last night and I really hope it does, because it’s wrong, and incidents like this need more awareness."
Police confirmed they are treating the incident as a hate crime.