A gay couple in Newport have told of their harrowing experience when a homophobe threw a glass bottle at them
A young gay couple has spoken about how they were harassed when walking to their car from the railway station after a night out in Newport, Wales.
Bleddyn Harris and David Barraclough both in their twenties were harassed by a man who hurled homophobic abuse at them on the pavement outside Newport Railway Station at about 10.30pm on the 31st August. The couple were returning from a night out. Bleddyn explained how he had given his partner his coat to keep him warm and was reaching into the coat pocket to retrieve his car keys.
The man then apparently threw a glass bottle at the pair. Luckily the bottle missed them. The assailant then escaped the scene in a car, which had at least two other occupants.
Speaking to Wales Online, Bleddyn Harris recalls, “We were walking back from Le Pub to my car because it was late and we were doing the usual couple things – linking arms,
“I could see this guy from afar and he was already kicking off. In my 26 years as a gay man, I know the look. He was shouting and yelling.
“We had stopped because I wanted to get my keys out of my boyfriends pocket.
“Before I knew it he’s telling us we need to f*** off and this bottle came smashing at my boyfriend’s feet.
The man is described as in his 30s and strangely was wearing a hat covered in fairy lights.
Harries took to Twitter to speak about his ordeal saying, “Last night, my boyfriend and I were walking back to my car (linking arms) from a gig when a guy threw a glass bottle at us and told us – in not so many nice words – that we need to go elsewhere. Homophobia at its best. This is why we still need pride”.
Speaking to THEGAYUK.com Bleddyn was keen to stress that this type of occurrence was all too common, saying that there was an “undercurrent of phobia towards non-binary, trans individuals and people who are bi”.
He said despite the incident he was not going to hide who he is, saying “I will continue to be as fabulous…it will embolden me”, but was worried that it might leave his boyfriend “second-guessing” whether to hold his hand in public in future.
Do LGBT+ people fear holding their partner’s hands in public?
In 2019 we asked readers of THEGAYUK.com whether they’d be comfortable in holding their partner’s hand in public. 85 per cent of people said that they would feel uncomfortable holding their partner’s hand in public. Only 15 per cent of those who answered said they would feel comfortable.
Percentage of LGBT+ couples who feel comfortable holding hands in public
Worryingly the LGBT+ community is getting warier of showing public displays of affection on the streets of the UK. In 2018 when we conducted the same survey, only 41% said they wouldn’t feel they could hold hands with their partner and in 2016 that figure was 23%.