British transport police say the attack was “homophobically aggravated”. (AFP via Getty/ JOHN D MCHUGH)
A queer man has said no one stepped in to help him when he was beaten and called a “f****t” in a “homophobic” attack on a London tube.
Alan Hunter, a retail worker from south east London, was on the Jubilee line on his way home from a Steps concert at the O2 Arena on 27 November when the incident occurred, according to the Press Association.
He said he asked a woman and her friends to stop using stop using balloons of nitrous oxide, also known as nos or laughing gas, on the tube.
An argument started, and the woman and her six friends became violent, said Hunter, 35, originally from Newcastle.
He said: “She pushed us twice in the head, grabbed my hair, I grabbed hers in self-defence, and then the six lads jumped on top of us.”
Hunter admitted that he insulted the woman, but only after she called him a “f**king f****t”.
He said: “Had she not called me a ‘f**king f****t’ I wouldn’t have said anything.
“I refuse for us to be second class citizens and just stand there and take it.”
Hunter, who was left with significant bruising and cuts to his face, said he was disappointed that no one in the tube carriage stepped in to help him during the “homophobic” attack.
“People are protecting themselves and trying to be safe in a dangerous place,” he said.
But at the same time, it’s just completely demoralising, if I saw someone getting hurt I would jump in and help.”
Hate crimes have been on the rise in the UK, and Hunter puts it down to right-wing politics.
“With Trumpism and Bolsonaro in Brazil, there’s been very rapidly a rise in such such right-wing politics and it’s given a free mouthpiece to people who for a long time couldn’t say anything,” he said.
“You can’t put Mentos in Coke without the thing absolutely kicking off, and basically politics was the Mentos in the Coke.”
In a statement, a British Transport Police spokesperson said: “British Transport Police received a report of a homophobically aggravated assault on the Jubilee line at London Bridge station shortly after midnight on Sunday 28 November.
“We take hate crimes extremely seriously and are making a number of inquiries into this incident.
“Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 31 of 28/11/21.”