Man who had homophobic slur knifed into his buttocks now claims injuries were consensual

Thousands of people are demonstrating in Barcelona, Spain, waving a rainbow flag

The Spanish man who claimed a homophobic gang carved the word “f****t” into his buttocks has now told Madrid police his injuries were consensual.

The alleged attack touched off a wave of protests Wednesday (8 September) and prompted the government to convene a hate crime task force – but now the victim has insisted he made it all up.

In a statement sent to the press from the Interior Ministry, the victim, who has not been named, retracted his claim that eight masked assailants set upon him last Sunday.

His initial police report stated that the gang followed him into his apartment complex in the Malasaña neighbourhood  and hurled homophobic insults at him before slitting his lip and carving a slur into his backside with a knife.

Retracting his story in a statement issued to the press, the victim said he had allowed another man to carve the word onto his backside. He claims that he lied in order to not lose his current partner.

“The man has changed his statement and has said that the assault was consensual,” a spokesperson for the national police force, the Policía Nacional, told The Guardian.

He could now face legal action for filing a false complaint.

Lies do not take away from the ‘danger of death’ LGBT+ Spaniards face

The alleged incident shuddered fear and anger through Spain’s LGBT+ community, which is still reeling after the brutal killing of Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old nursing assistant beaten to death by a dozen violent thugs earlier this year.

Pedro Sánchez, the country’s prime minister, decried the alleged knife attack and responded by calling an urgent meeting of the anti-hate crime commission set for Friday. He urged lawmakers to speed up non-discrimination legislation.

A protest was planned for Wednesday evening. After news broke that the supposed victim had retracted his story, organisers decided to go ahead with the demonstration to highlight the very real upswing in anti-LGBT+ hate crimes – 41 per cent of queer Spaniards have experienced harassment in the last 12 months, per a 2020 report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

“Over the past few days, there have been attacks in Toledo, in Melilla, in Castellón and in Vitoria,” Movimiento Marika Madrid, an LGBT+ advocacy group involved in the demonstration said in a Twitter statement.

“[We will protest because] they killed Samuel for being gay and because those of you reading this have also had to suffer violence, harassment, fear and the danger of death.”