Young trans man attacked at knifepoint before thugs tore off his underwear: ‘I thought I was going die’

Side-by-side of Ruan Filipe with cuts on his face, cheeks and neck

A 21-year-old trans man was stabbed in the face by thugs who tore his underwear off in a Friday night (18 June) attack in Bournemouth, England.

Ruan Filipe, a Portugal native who moved to England three years ago, was assaulted last while smoking by a car park.

Sharing photographs of his injuries on Instagram, his face and neck lacerated with cuts, to Filipe, the incident was the upshot of years of abuse and bullying he has faced for being trans, he wrote in the caption.

At around 11:35pm, Filipe was smoking a cigarette in the coastal town in southern England when a group of men allegedly approached him.

The men, he told Portuguese daily national newspaper Público, derided him for his “feminine voice” before asking: “How do you have a beard on your face?”


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A post shared by ruan_nunes (@ruan_filipe21)

“Because I’m trans,” he replied. Then they became “aggressive”.

“They pulled me to the ground,” Ruan Filipe claimed, who began to pummel him with punches while slashing him with a knife on his face, stomach and legs.

As the group pelted him, they crammed a cloth in his mouth to stop him from screaming, the victim claimed. Writhing on the ground, Filipe said his attackers tugged off his trousers and tore his underwear as they sought to drag him into their car.

“I thought I was going to die,” he said on Instagram.

He only managed to flee, he said, when he bit into one of the men. “I started running and hid behind a supermarket,” he said, “I came home about an hour later.”

Filipe added that such acts of hatred and brutality are all too common for him, having suffered transphobia in both Portugal and England.

But he alleged that when he sought to file a report about the incident, officers brushed him aside. There was a lack of witnesses or surveillance camera footage, they reportedly told him, so there would be “no point” in filing a complaint.

“It is a lost cause,” they allegedly said, Filipe recalled. Dorset Police officials told PinkNews that they have been unable to “find a record” of the incident.

The attack comes at a daunting time to be trans in Britain, where transphobic violence has soared to such perilous rates that four out of every five trans people has experienced some form of hate crime in the last 12 months, according to data.

Luan Tiófilo, a finalist on Secret Story Seven, the Portuguese spin-off of Big Brother, shared Ruan Filipe’s post on his own Instagram. “It’s sad, it’s shocking, it’s unbelievable, it’s unacceptable that this continues to happen,” he wrote, according to A Televisão.

“No one has the right to hurt someone just because [they are LGBT+].”

Dorset Police Chief Superintendent Mark Callaghan said in a statement to PinkNews: “Officers have looked into the information available and have not been able to find a record of such an incident.

“We will be actively seeking to engage with the victim to ensure a thorough investigation and the necessary support is provided.

“We would encourage any victims of hate crime or assaults to please come forward and report it to Dorset Police.

“Dorset Police takes all reports of hate crime or hate incidents very seriously and will investigate any matters that are brought to our attention.”