Police in London’s Soho have arrested two men following a vicious homo/transphobic attack on Old Compton Street last night.
Drag artists and members of the performance collective Familyyy Fierce, Maxi More, Ruby Wednesday and Pretty Miss Cairo were walking home when they witnessed two men verbally abusing a young drag queen on the street.
‘There were quite a lot of drag queens out in London,’ More told So So Gay, ‘because it was famous London drag queen Dusty O’s birthday. We saw a guy being very loud and obviously drunk, hurling aggression at a young queen.
‘The man grabbed his wig and pulled it off, at which point Miss Cairo and I decided to step in.’
Describing her attacker as ‘ginger haired’, More, who was not wearing drag clothes but still in make up, described how the man instead set upon her: ‘I have long hair which was tied in a top knot; he grabbed my hair, dragging me around for around three minutes while punching me in the head before police arrived and pulled him off. All the time, his friend was standing nearby, pulling him away but without much conviction.
‘The police arrested both, and by the time the two were locked into the back of the police van, they were so angry, it was rocking back and forth.’
More said that incidents like this are commonplace in Soho, adding that while police are always quick to respond, ‘Soho seems like a huge problem with drug dealers and drunk people at any time after 3am.’
‘This was half an act of homophobia and half blind drunkenness by a couple of ignorant chauvinists – it could have easily been directed at anyone else – gay, straight, trans. There was an extreme level of drunkenness by people not in control of their own actions.
‘I was once harangued by drug dealers, who stole my phone so that I couldn’t call the police,’ she told us.
A spokesperson for Westminster Police commented: ‘Police were called to the scene of an assault on four people on Old Compton Street, W1. It is believed that all were verbally attacked and two physically. Westminster’s community safety unit is investigating it as a hate crime.
‘Two men were arrested at the scene; one has been released with no further action whilst a 21-year-old man has been bailed to return to a central London police station on 19 August pending further enquiries.
‘Westminster police is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms and is dedicated to working with, and improving services for the LGBT communities within the City of Westminster.’
In a Facebook post, Miss Cairo wrote: ‘There are some very unhinged people who seem to hone in on Soho. With it being an area which is frequented by so many vulnerable people, I can’t comprehend why there isn’t more police presence on the street or more reliable LGBTQ friendly door staff around.
‘A massive thank you to the police that came and arrested the attackers, and for being so kind, gentle and good at their job over at Charing Cross Road Police Station, and also to the guy who looked after our bags as this erupted.’