Words: Alastair James; pictures: Screenshots from TÊTU
A gay couple say they were the victims of a homophobic assault while on a night out in Corsica - and that a large crowd stood by and watched as the attack unfolded.
Mickaël and Benoît, from France, had been visiting family in the north part of Corsica when the incident took place in the Macinaggio port area last Thursday (15 July).
They say that up to 20 people took part in the attack, while a crowd of about 60 stood by and watched.
"They brought out the popcorn”
Emailing the French gay publication, TÊTU, after the incident the pair said they’d been dancing with family. They said they noticed they were being stared at. Mickaël said: “A group of young teenagers aged 15 to 20 laugh at us and insult us as queers,” adding one of the group approached them.
“He shows me a picture of someone pissing on a rainbow flag. I stay very calm and tell him that I am gay myself. At that moment, he takes out his cross and tells me that it is 'is against nature’.”
It was at this point Mickaël and Benoît went outside but were soon followed by the group, which is when the attack started.
Benoît said "They brought out the popcorn,” referring to the approximately 60 people who watched the attack take place.
Thankfully Benoît’s family had alerted the police who were able to intervene. Leaving in an ambulance, Mickaël said: “We could hear the villagers shouting 'queers!' as if they were happy to see us go,"
An investigation has been opened into the incident, according to a statement obtained by France TV Info, which also says that the couple involved have had work interrupted by six to eight days.
The Attitude Body Issue is out now.