Drag queen husbands ‘traumatised’ after being brutally attacked in street just for holding hands

George and Jason Sullovan

Drag-performing husbands, out on a date night, have been left “traumatised” after a group of boys attacked them, leaving one with a black eye. And all because they were holding hands. 

An investigation into the incident has been launched, but no arrests have been made. 

“It was very traumatising”, said George Sullovan, 25, who was with his husband 27-year-old husband Jason. 

The pair – who have been married for six years but together for 10 – went for a meal, then to Boom Battle Bar in Bournemouth, on Monday (6 March). 

After leaving the bar hand-in-hand they were subjected to homophobic taunts and physical abuse from a group of six boys.

The  Absolutely Dragulous Sho
George and Jason perform drag together in their Absolutely Dragulous Show. (George Sullovan)

Dorset Police told PinkNews that hey received reports of an assault in Exeter Crescent in Bournemouth just after 9.50pm on Monday. 

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“It is reported that a man said homophobic abuse to two men, before pushing one of them to the floor. He sustained an injury to his eye.

“Dorset Police does not tolerate hate crime and an investigation is underway to identify the person responsible. No arrests have been made at this time.” 

‘I’ll put him in a wheelchair for life’ 

George Sullovan told PinkNews that he and his husband don’t usually hold hands in public because the last time they did, a couple of years ago, they were the victims of verbal abuse.

Reliving Monday’s attack, he said: “One of them ran up to my husband, pushed him on to the floor and started to hit him. 

“My first thought was, because Jason recently dislocated his knee at one of our shows and has been in recovery for over a month, his knee could be made worse. 

“I told the person attacking to leave him alone and said he’d recently injured his knee, and he said: ‘Oh, I’ll put him in a wheelchair for life.'”

After managing to get back into the safety of the venue, George said two of the group ran into the bar and punched Jason in the face. 

Jason’s knee is now said to be worse.  

Jason Sullovan in a wheelchair
Jason has been recovering from a dislocated knee for the past month, but his husband, George, said the recent assault has caused his knee to get worse. (George Sullovan)

The pair, who perform together as the Absolutely Dragulous Show, use drag as a way to empower themselves, after both having survived prior abusive relationships. 

George said that after the attack he “spent the whole night crying” and revealed that both he and Jason have suffered mentally. 

He said he wanted to share the incident with the public to help other people and raise awareness of the ongoing rise in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes in the UK. 

‘Prime example of what it means to be queer in the UK today’  

A spokesperson for Drag Queen Story Hour UK told PinkNews: “This attack on two LGBTQ+ people holding hands is a prime example of what it means to be queer in the UK today. 

“The rise in hate crimes in the UK is a direct result of hate-filled rhetoric that has been coming from those in positions of power, who have repeatedly validated LGBTQ+ hate by pushing their own hateful and prejudiced agendas. 

“The same day [as] this attack, a Drag Queen Story Hour event at the Off the Shelf kids’ literary festival… was cancelled out of concerns [for the] safety of the performer, where [an] MP decided to share misinformation about the performer causing… threats online to be directed at Aida H Dee.” 

Rise in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and homophobic hate crimes across the UK 

Anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, especially anti-trans rhetoric, is becoming “increasingly vocal and aggressive among the far-right”, according to HOPE not hate’s State of Hate 2023 report.

The annual report cited the increasing spate of protests against Drag Queen Story Hour in the UK as part of “far-right agitation”.

It also singled out Posie Parker, also known as Kellie-Jay Keen, as a “leading voice in the anti-trans movement”.

In 2022, police figures showed that anti-LGBTQ+ violence in the UK is rising rapidly. 

Reports of homophobic hate crimes more than doubled in five years, shooting from 10,003 in 2016-17 to 26,824 in 2021-22. In 2022, the figure soared by 32 per cent – the biggest annual rise since record-keeping began.