Dr. Melania Geymonat and her partner, Chris suffered facial injuries by four men after they refused to kiss for the entertainment of the perpetrators.
Police arrested four teenage suspects Friday in an attack on a lesbian couple who were violently attacked on a London bus on May 30 after refusing their perpetrator's request to engage in intimate acts.
During interviews with the media in England, where the couple lives, and Uruguay, where Geymonat is from, the doctor said she and Chris were traveling that night on the top deck of a two-decker London bus when a group of young men started harassing them once they discovered them to be gay. The four youths surrounded the two women, insisting they kiss for them and began making lewd sexual gestures.
Local police said the suspects are aged between 15 to 18 and were arrested on Friday on suspicion of robbery and aggravated GBH.
"They surrounded us and started saying really aggressive stuff, things about sexual positions, lesbians and claiming we could kiss so they could watch us,” Dr. Geymonat told the BBC and Montevideo Portal Friday.
"To ease the situation I tried to make some jokes. … and (Chris) even acted as if she was sick... but they started throwing coins. The next thing I know Chris is in the middle of the bus and they are punching her,” recalls Geymonat. The event took place May 30.
"I immediately went there by impulse and tried to pull her out of there and they started punching me. I was really bleeding,” says the doctor who took pictures of herself and her partner on the bus just after they were beaten by the males, showing their bloody noses and jaws.
"The police are extremely good; we are in close touch and they are investigating (the incident)," added Melania who says she has been experienced "a lot of verbal violence" in the English capital, but never assaulted for her sexual orientation.
Geymonat told Montevideo Portal she wanted to talk about the experience in order to let others know about public violence against women.
"What prompted me the most to tell the story is the violence against women, not only here in Europe, but also in Uruguay," said the doctor. "I want to raise awareness because it happens a lot more than is known," she added.
The BBC reports that attacks on the LGBTQ community doubled between 2014 and 2018, according to London police figure. The numbers prompted the government to initiate an LGBTQ action plan to help members to be able to freely express their sexuality in public, without fear of harassment. Two thirds of LGBTQ members in the U.K. say they have avoided holding hands with their same-sex partner for fear of retaliation from strangers.
"Today, I was talking to a friend from Barcelona who says a lot of times she is made to feel bad by men who harass her or invade her (personal space) and that this is quite normalized, but it shouldn’t be," added Geymonat.
The two are going to the doctor Friday in order to determine if Geymonat has a broken nose. The perpetrators also stole a phone and bag from the women before running away.
In reaction to the BBC article on the beatings, Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn wrote on his Facebook account: “Absolutely shocking. We must not, and will not, accept this homophobic and misogynist violence in our society. Solidarity to Melania and Chris, and to all in the LGBT+ community for everything they endure for simply being who they are.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the attacks were disgusting and misogynistic.
The city’s camera surveillance system recorded the attack on video.