Bisexual, non-binary student scared to leave home after hateful street attack

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A bisexual, non-binary person has said they are scared to leave their house after they were thrown to the ground in a suspected anti-LGBT+ attack in Galway, Ireland.

Speaking to the Galway City Tribune, Zerhanah – a law and taxation student – said they were “shocked” when they and their friends were targeted just days after the city’s Pride festival.

Zerhanah, 19, said they were “having a few drinks” and dancing with friends at Spanish Arch in Galway when they heard a group of men calling them “f****ts”.

“We didn’t know if it was directed at us or not but my friend turned around, and said: ‘What are you saying?’ He then started to be punched and got about six punches to the face,” Zerhanah told the Galway City Tribune.

Zerhanah tried to intervene and pull their friend away, but they were “thrown onto the ground” by one of the men.

“The word ‘f****t’ was still being thrown around, I could hear it being shouted at me,” Zerhanah said.

Zerhanah injured their ankle when they were pushed to the ground, meaning they were left “on the ground wailing for help”. An ambulance later arrived on the scene to treat them and their friends.

They gave a statement to police on the night, but they ultimately decided not to file an official compliant.

Non-binary person inundated with supportive messages following anti-LGBT+ attack

Reflecting on the attack, Zerhanah said they “took the brunt” of the group’s aggression. They are still not able to walk properly without crutches.

The incident occurred on 21 August in Galway city centre. In the hours after the attack, Zerhanah shared their experience on Twitter.

“Thank u random men in Galway for punching my friend, throwing me into the ground, spraining my leg and calling us f****ts just for dancing and having a nice time at Spanish Arch,” they tweeted.

“I will report you and I will get you done for this.”

The tweet has been liked more than 5,000 times. They were inundated with supportive messages from other LGBT+ people in Ireland, with many sharing their own experiences of suffering similar attacks.

In a second tweet, they urged other queer people to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings when they’re on a night out.

“There are some proper assholes out there so everyone please stay safe,” they wrote.

The attack is just the latest in a string of anti-LGBT+ incidents in Ireland in recent months. Pride flags were torn down and burned in Waterford on two occasions in June, while a similar incident shocked residents in Carlow just weeks later.

Pride flags were also torn down in Claremorris, Mayo, in July, in a devastating blow to local LGBT+ activists.