Drag Race UK’s Elektra Fence attacked by ‘aggressive, homophobic’ thugs

Elektra Fence promotional picture

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Elektra Fence said she was physically and verbally assaulted on a train in a “homophobic” attack.

Elektra Fence, known outside of drag as Julian Riley, said he was travelling from London Euston to Manchester when he was targeted by a group.

Writing in a Twitter statement on Tuesday (26 April), Elektra said a man leapt at him and hurled homophobic slurs as he was getting a cup of tea on the Avanti West Coast service.

Elektra tried to shrug off the insults as he made his way up the carriage. As he returned to his seat, he said, one of the men grabbed and pushed him, tearing open his jacket. During the scuffle, other members of the group placed their hands on him.

“It was incredibly aggressive and frightening and I felt totally helpless,” Elektra Fence wrote.

A self-defence move learned from TikTok enabled Elektra to break free from their grip, but the men continued to shout “every homophobic slur under the sun”.

The performer, who competed in Drag Race UK season three, said he reported the incident to train management, and that police were called but did not arrive to investigate at Crewe, where the group got off the train.

“I later learned that a staff member received racist abuse from these people,” Elektra added.

The Drag Race UK star said that anti-LGBT+ violence is “at the back of many queer people’s minds every day, including mine”, and that the incident came just a month after their last “verbal homophobic assault”.

“I want you all to know that I am a strong resilient person and have suffered worse that this in my life,” Elektra added. “Despite this, I should not have to deal with or process an incident such as in this day and age.”

Elektra said they considered changing clothes after the attack to “blend in”.

“But no,” he added. “Our community has fought so hard. Dimming my light is not an option. I’ll never do it. I’ll never change. Ever.”

In Britain, anti-LGBT+ hate crime has rocketed in recent years, with at least 19,679 crimes motivated by hatred for someone’s sexual orientation recorded between 2020 and 2021, per police data.

Reports of LGBT+ hate crimes have risen by 210 per cent between 2014 and 2021, stoking fears and raising questions about how the police have responded to it.

The true tally is likely even higher. Nine in 10 LGBT+ victims do not report hate crimes to the police, government figures show. Even those that are reported to law enforcement, only 14 per cent are resolved by the police, the investigative journalism unit Liberty Investigates found.

A spokesperson for Avanti West Coast said: “We’re really sorry to hear of this incident and are in touch with the customer.

“No one should have to experience homophobia and it will not be tolerated on our trains.”