A Tasmanian transgender teen was physically assaulted on Friday, in what the young victim characterised as a backlash against the LGBTIQ community.
16-year-old Thalia Black said she was hanging out with friends at Hobart’s Elisabeth St Mall at around 4.30pm, when she was accosted by a stranger.
Black said the man started hurling abuse, before reaching out to strangle her.
“The next thing I know he has his hands around my throat and started squeezing,” she said.
Her mate Samuel Mazur was present at the time, and was able to shove the attacker away from Black.
“I was certainly expecting him to start swinging,” Mazur said.
He also recounted the man saying “if you are part of the yes campaign and don’t want to get hurt then fuck off.”
Black said she felt the violence was aimed at “all of the LGBTI community,” and described being shaken by the incident.
“I’m wondering if I’m going to get be attacked again.”
Tasmanian Police have confirmed they’re investigating the incident.
Speaking to The Mercury, Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality spokesperson Robin Banks said “if leaders fail to condemn this alleged attack, which was reportedly motivated by Thalia’s presumed support for the ‘yes’ campaign, they increase the chances of similar attacks on LGBTI people in the future.”
The attack occurred several blocks away from the alleged assault on former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, which took place a day earlier. Despite the accused headbutter’s assertions that his actions weren’t motivated by the same-sex marriage postal survey, Abbott was quick to link the incident to the ‘Yes’ campaign.
It also comes after a violent attack on former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s godson, who was allegedly bashed after standing up to homophobic abuse in Queensland.
Safe and respectful debate, everyone.