- Two gay women say they were severely beaten by four men on a London bus after they refused to kiss for their perverse entertainment.
- Melania Geymonat, 28, a Ryanair flight attendant, and Chris, her American partner, described being heckled by a gang on a double-decker bus around 2:30 a.m. on May 30.
- The gang made crude sexual gestures, and when she and her girlfriend refused to kiss, the men punched them in the face, Geymonat said.
- London’s Metropolitan Police described the incident as a “homophobic assault,” and London Mayor Sadiq Khan called it a “disgusting, misogynistic attack.”
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A woman and her girlfriend say they were violently beaten by a gang of men on a London bus after refusing to kiss for their entertainment.
Melania Geymonat, a flight attendant for Ryanair, and Chris, her American girlfriend, were heading home from an evening out at 2:30 a.m. on May 30.
Geymonat, from Uruguay, said a group of men in the seats behind them noticed that they were a couple and demanded they kiss.
She said the men then made crude sexual gestures and attacked them when they refused to kiss.
London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Friday that the gang also stole a phone and a bag as they fled the N31 bus in London's West Hampstead neighborhood. The police described the incident as a "homophobic assault" and are asking for witnesses.
"They wanted us to kiss so they could watch us," Geymonat said. "I tried to defuse the situation as I'm not a confrontational person, telling them to please leave us alone as Chris wasn't feeling well."
"The next thing I remember was Chris in the middle of them, and they were beating her," she said.
"I didn't think about it and went in," she said. "I was pulling her back and trying to defend her, so they started beating me up. I don't even know if I was knocked unconscious."
She said that she felt blood and saw that she "was bleeding all over my clothes and all over the floor."
She added: "It's not something isolated - it's common. We were seen as entertainment. That's what makes me so angry."
Geymonat first posted about her ordeal on Facebook on Wednesday, calling for an end to violence toward LGBT+ communities.
"I'm tired of being taken as a SEXUAL OBJECT, of finding out that these situations are usual, of gay friends who were beaten up JUST BECAUSE," she wrote.
"We have to endure verbal harassment AND CHAUVINIST, MISOGYNISTIC AND HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE because when you stand up for yourself shit like this happens.
"By the way, I am thankful to all the women and men in my life that understand that HAVING BALLS MEANS SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. I just hope that in June, Pride Month, stuff like this can be spoken out loudly so they STOP HAPPENING!"
London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned the attack in a tweet on Friday.
"This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack," Khan said. "Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London."
Saturday marks the start of Pride Month in London, running to July 6.