Transgender woman Stephanie McCarthy, who was bashed at a Newtown pub last Friday night, has accused Sydney’s lockout laws as making the area unsafe.
“I’ve heard stories of gay bashings, racist attacks, women getting hit,” she said, speaking to media. “I personally believe it’s down to the lockout.”
“There are people coming out on Friday and Saturday nights that never used to go out in Newtown, and they’re just here to bash people. They’re just here to get loaded on drinks and drugs and fight.”
McCarthy hails from Newcastle, where she said she saw the same thing happen to the Hamilton area when the lockout laws were brought in. It was one of the reasons she moved to Newtown, an area previously known for being tolerant towards and safe for LGBTQI people.
“It’s just so upsetting knowing that this special area is getting destroyed, because of a law that’s meant to protect people from violence. It might well make Kings Cross safer, but it’s destroying Newtown.”
Her sentiments have been echoed by other members of the trans community in Newtown, who say “the area getting destroyed” and “it’s really horrible how much this place has changed.”
The community is rallying around McCarthy, staging a protest last night against violence and transphobia.
Thank you all so much for your support. I cannot tell you what it means to me. https://t.co/15Qptz3HtK
— Stephanie McCarthy (@tallpunksteph) June 8, 2015
— James of Social Work (@james_scwk) June 8, 2015
Police are unable to comment if violence in the area has increased since the lockout laws came in to effect early last year, but say their enquiries into the incident are ongoing.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.