A lesbian couple in London was beaten and robbed last week in a homophobic attack that led to multiple arrests.
Melania Geymonat took to Facebook on Wednesday to describe a May 30 assault that left her and her girlfriend — identified only as Chris — bloodied on the night bus in Camden. The two had just gone on a date and were on their way to Chris’ home when several men started to harass the couple on the bus’ upper deck.
“We must have kissed or something because these guys came after us,” she wrote. “I don’t remember if they were already there or if they got on after us. There were at least four of them. They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions.”
In an attempt to defuse the situation, Geymonat said she made several jokes and that Chris pretended she was sick. Still, the men reportedly continued to bother them and even threw coins in their direction.
“The next thing I know is that Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them,” she said. “On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up.”
From there, the fight only escalated, Geymonat said.
“The next thing I know is I’m being punched,” she continued. “I got dizzy at the sight of my blood and fell back. I don’t remember whether or not I lost consciousness. Suddenly the bus had stopped, the police were there and I was bleeding all over. Our stuff was stolen as well.”
A photo that Geymonot posted shows the two with blood running down their noses and all over Geymonot’s shirt.
“I don’t know yet if my nose is broken, and I haven’t been able to go back to work, but what upsets me the most is that VIOLENCE HAS BECOME A COMMON THING, that sometimes it’s necessary to see a woman bleeding after having been punched to feel some kind of impact,” she wrote. “I’m tired of being taken as a SEXUAL OBJECT, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up JUST BECAUSE.”
On Friday, Metropolitan police confirmed the incident in a statement.
“As they sat on the top deck they were approached by a group of four males who began to make lewd and homophobic comments to them,” the statement read. “The women were then attacked and punched several times before the males ran off the bus. A phone and bag were stolen during the assault.”
Authorities said they made several arrests but did not provide further details. The incident, which comes just several days into Pride Month, caught the attention of London’s mayor Sadiq Khan, who condemned the attack.
“This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack,” he wrote on Twitter. “Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London.”