The young man shouting antigay slurs at a couple in AmsterdamPhoto: screenshot
Countries around the world are locked down in desperate bids to stop the spread of a novel coronavirus, but essential trips to grocery stores or pharmacies are still allowed in most places.
One gay couple found out the hard way though that homophobia hasn’t stayed at home. They were spat on and called diseased during a trip to the market.
Related: A religious leader blamed coronavirus on the gays. Now an LGBTQ org is suing him.
Daniel Schepers and Fabio Viana were on their way to the grocery store in Amsterdam when they were accosted by a group of teenagers. Video of the incident, posted by Viana, has gone viral.
“Following the quarantine recommendations, I’ve just left home to go to the supermarket with my fiancée,” Viana wrote in his Facebook post. “We, like always, were walking holding hands, when a group of young guys started to verbally (afterwards physically) attack us saying that we were ‘fucking homos’ and that we came from ‘cancerous mothers’ and that we should die of cancer.”
Viana says they called the police as passerby intervened and most of the teens fled. One stayed, however, and is shown in the video threatening and harassing the two as a woman keeps herself between the two. The thug ran away when he realized the police were on the way.
After officers left the scene, the assailant and another man returned on a scooter to spit on the men.
“Despite the physical aggression, it was another crime because this can also have infected us with Corona,” Viana said in the post, “when people are forbidden to even stay closer than 1.5 m from each other.”
The Netherlands has been hit hard by COVID-19. The government originally tried to thread the needle between gaining herd immunity for the population and protecting the vulnerable. The country didn’t have an official lockdown until late in the viral outbreak, but instead encouraged “common sense.”
The country currently has over 28,000 confirmed cases and over 3,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Amsterdam, April 12th. 2020. Easter. In spite of the meaning of this day, which relates to new life and peace, I suffered an Homophobic attack today in Amsterdam East (in front of Lidl Supermarket at Molukkenstraat/Insulindeweg). Following the quarantine recommendations, I’ve just left home to go to the supermarket with my fiancée. We, like always, were walking holding hands, when a group of young guys started to verbally (afterwards physically) attack us saying that we were “fucking homos” and that we came from “cancerous mothers” and that we should die of cancer. I got my phone and called straight away Roze in Blauw (number: 088 169 1234) or Pink in Blue Police, the anti-gay discrimination group in the Politie Amsterdam . Most of the guys ran away and this guy, recorded on video, continued the verbal aggression and came to the point of even physically harass us (as you can see on the video). When he noticed that we had really called the police, he ran away. I must confess that my first thought was to hold him until the officers arrive. So 2 police cars came and I shared with them this video, they said that I should file a report and call the Roze In Blauw police again. After they left, 2 of the guys came on a scooter (as you can also see on this video, Scooter plate DBP 45L) and SPIT on us. Despite the physical aggression, it was another crime because this can also have infected us with Corona, when people are forbidden to even stay closer than 1.5 m from each other. What I want with this report is to call all fellow gays, not only here in Amsterdam (where we are supposed to be safer than in other places in this world), to not only share this video but also to report any kind of Gay harassment/aggression. If we don’t do that, those people will continue with their intolerance and trying to impose their (lack of) culture in a land of freedom like the Netherlands. Again, I’m also sharing his face and the scooter plate to help the police track them. PS: we have also witnesses for both situations (the aggression and when the guys spit on us)PS2: When I mention culture, I mean that they come from a mindset where equality doesn’t exist at all. I’m talking about homophobic people. There is nothing to do with nationality nor specific group, but with the real meaning of the words RESPECT and TOLERANCE. If I would be here speaking about nationalities, I would start with the most homophobic country of the world (also based on statistics), my homeland Brazil (I’m Dutch but I was born there). A place where the president says that he’d rather have a dead son than a gay one… That’s why I feel even more upset with this situation – because I could expect this in Brazil, but not here ;(
Posted by Fabio Viana on Sunday, April 12, 2020