The Vivienne shares how vile homophobic attack in McDonald’s impacted her: ‘It did shake me’

The Vivienne on ITV's This Morning

The Vivienne has shared how a recent homophobic attack in Liverpool knocked her confidence and left her shaken up.

On 16 June, the Welsh drag queen was punched by a man in a Liverpool branch of McDonald’s. Merseyside Police confirmed that a man was arrested in connection with the attack and enquiries into the incident are ongoing. 

The RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season one winner previously shared a heartfelt message from her mum a couple of days after the incident took place.

On Friday (4 August), in her first TV interview since the homophobic attack, The Vivienne sat down to chat with Josie Gibson and Craig Doyle on ITV’s This Morning.

The drag star, who is performing at Brighton Pride on Sunday (6 August), opened about the mental toll the attack had taken on her – but praised Merseyside Police for their “fantastic” response.

Recalling the attack, she said: “It was in broad daylight, I wasn’t in drag, I was still getting a burger and what happened, happened, but the police were fantastic.

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She went on: “It did kinda shake me up a little bit because I’ve always, from a young age, been so confident and didn’t care what anyone thought. 

“Even after the attack I was like, “Oh it’s fine, I’ve dealt with this for years” but then getting on a train and hiding round the corner. It did shake me up a little bit.” 

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When presenter Gibson shared her surprise at The Vivienne hiding in public, the queen responded: “Yeah, because we all think we’re strong and we can get through it, but a week later I was getting the train up to London and [there was] a big group of lads who had been out, and that was the first time in my life ever I hid round a corner waiting for a train. 

“That’s the first moment I thought “Wow it has really affected me”.” 

The Vivienne added she’s glad the homophobic attack happened to her as she’s “able to deal with it”. 

Home Office statistics released in October 2022 revealed a new record high for hate crimes in England and Wales. According to the report, which detailed at least 155,841 recorded hate crimes from March 2021 to March 2022, noted that hate crimes rose by about 26 per cent from the previous year. 

Discussing her stint on Keith Lemon’s upcoming Shopping With Keith Lemon series, she said that within 30 minutes of filming she was subjected to three incidents of abuse.

She told Gibson and Doyle someone screamed “read the Bible” at her, while another ran into the shop grabbed the camera and said “drag is derogatory to women”. Another shouted that “drag needs to be banned”. 

Comedian Lemon has commented on the incidents separately, telling OK! Magazine: “I was disgusted. I can’t get my head round why someone’s so offended by someone whose main purpose is to put a smile on your face and entertain you.

“And people getting the knickers in a twist about it – I don’t get it. I always think if it doesn’t hurt you, why are you bothered?”

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What to do if you’re a victim of hate crime or witness it taking place

In the UK, hate crime falls into three different categories: physical assault, verbal abuse, and incitement to hatred, which, aside from the obvious, also includes things such as intimidating behaviour and damaging property.

If someone is in immediate danger or needs support right away, they should call 999 in the UK and ask for the police (or the ambulance service if they are in need of urgent medical assistance).

After a hate crime has taken place, it can be reported in a number of ways in the UK, including online, over the phone via 101, or in person at a police station.

There are also charities that support people and offer advice. Crimestoppers allows people to report crime anonymously, and Galop supports LGBTQ+ victims of abuse and violence.

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