18 July, 2015

Hate Crime Sories: A Climate of Hatred

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Category: hate crime, Homophobia, Victims of hate crime
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 AntiSocial_TackleWritten by Marie Cucurella

Tibo and his boyfriend are a French couple living in Paris. They have been victims of hate crime in November 2013, when the debate about gay marriage in France was a raging one. For what reason? For holding hands in the street. Or more simply, for being homosexual.

Tibo is saying how he and his partner, as well as many other homosexual couples, are used to hide any affective gesture in the street or in public. Not only because they can be scared to be beaten up, but also to be judged, insulted, discriminated against. “I heard them behind us, I had seen them in the metro. So we stopped holding hands. Too late.”

Among the group of five young people, one asks them for a cigarette, already starting the insults. The blows quickly follow, his partner first and then him, who ends up with a broken jaw. The bruises and contusions are one thing, the psychological trauma another one. “All this, because we were holding hands. In Paris, in 2013”. Tibo talks about this feeling of responsibility he has, when he says “too late”, as if it were their fault that they got beaten up, as if indeed they shouldn’t have been holding hands. He says he sometimes envy heterosexual couples he sees, not because of what they can do, but simply about the fact that this matter doesn’t exist for them at all. “I only envy their insouciance, the fact that they don’t even think about it.”

The couple had enough courage to complaint, which is far from being the case of all victims. But the group of youngsters cannot be found, as the aggression was very short and happened during the night.

Tibo chose to testimony and this is why we can find his story in the media, but the least we can say is that the coverage was not great, as happens most of the time for aggressions targeting LGBT persons, and all minorities more globally. It is hard to say how many attacks of this kind take place, as most of them stay non-reported, and those who do are not talked about.

For Tibo, the youngsters who attacked him and his partner are the puppets of other homophobes who hide behind their screens, acting on the internet and raising hate. Tibo is denouncing hate as a whole, and not only against the homosexual community. The youngsters who aggressed him are very probably often discriminated against in everyday life, they are the subject of hatred and perpetuate this hate against other targeted groups. Tibo is seeing himself as the victim of people who raise this climate of hatred and violence.

“I was beaten up by five miserable little bastards.   I was beaten up by xenophobia.   I was beaten up by homophobia.”

 

Interviewed by: Rozenn Le Carboulec

Source online on: http://leplus.nouvelobs.com [date accessed 08.07.2015]

 

 


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