Incidences against LGTBI people grow by 18%
The Observatory against Homophobia asks the administrations to act in a coordinated way
Aggressions of any kind against LGTBI people can be reported through a few channels. One of them is through the Observatory Against Homophobia (OCL_H), an entity increasingly concerned about a scourge that far from being eradicated, continues to grow. In 2019 the Observatory recorded 160 incidences, in 2020 there were already 189, 18% more, according to the report State of LGTBI-phobia in Catalonia 2020 presented on Monday at the College of Journalists. The event was attended, among others, by representatives of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Barcelona City Council and the Síndic de Greuges. Since January 1st, 2021, 90 have been registered.
The President of the observatory, Eugeni Rodríguez, has pointed out that some of the "serious aggressions" are committed by "young teenagers who go out in packs" and has assured that their way of doing is "legitimized by a discourse that comes from the extreme right", in reference to the Vox party. Rodriguez lamented: "This is their victory: to relativize the rights of LGTBI people".
Most of the incidents collected have been recorded in the demarcation of Barcelona (133), where the observatory has more presence. Far behind are Girona (7), Tarragona (6) and Lleida (2). There have also been 37 incidents registered in a non-attendance way. The data shows that outside Barcelona the observatory -which focuses on assistance to people who have suffered situations of discrimination or aggression on grounds of sexual orientation- is still an unknown entity. To try to make itself known, and to be able to accompany the victims of these aggressions, the report takes the opportunity to ask for "more resources".
Mostly on weekends
The age bracket that has suffered the most incidents, according to the observatory data, goes from 26 to 35 years and the worst months were January, July and August. 41.9% of the total number of incidents occurred on weekends, which is when the resources to attend to the victims are most scarce. These aggressions normally take place in the street. In the private sphere, the incidences registered in the areas of housing and work stand out. The report also highlights that "an impact of covid-19 is observed in the discriminations by virtual channels due to the increase of the cases".
The technical coordinator of the OCL_H, Cristian Carrer, asked the administrations to work in a coordinated way "to build shared strategies" and gave as an example the Office for Non-Discrimination of the Barcelona City Council.
Raising funds to pay for an operation
One of these recent aggressions was suffered at the end of May by two couples of gay men who were on the Somorrostro beach in Barcelona. Suddenly, a "very violent" group approached them and after insulting them with shouts of "fucking faggots" began to beat and kick them. One of the victims suffered serious injuries, with several bruises and a broken jaw. He had to undergo surgery after losing almost all his teeth. The other three men suffered bruises. A few days after this brutal attack, the victim launched a campaign on Gofundme to raise money to pay for a reconstruction operation with the name 'Help me get my smile back'. More than 1,300 euros have already been raised.