A victim of a suspected homophobic assault on a London bus has said she is frequently harassed over her sexuality.
Melania Geymonat, 28, was travelling on a London bus with her girlfriend Chris when they were repeatedly told to kiss by a group of men.
When they refused they were attacked - left bloodied and distressed as shown in the photograph, above, which she shared on Facebook following the horrendous incident.
But she said the attack was not the first time she has been victimised in London because of her sexuality.
Ms Geymonat, from Uruguay, said: “Men behave really inappropriately when they see two women together. I have had experiences like that. Maybe you’re in a bar talking with a friend. Men come up and talk to you and you say ‘No’, but they stay there. If you tell the man, ‘No, I’m dating her,’ their answer will be, ‘Oh, you should kiss’, or, ‘I don’t believe you unless you kiss.’”
A woman who was attacked after refusing to kiss her girlfriend for a group of men on a bus says she has previously experienced homophobia in London.
Ms Geymonat, who qualified as a GP last summer and took a gap year to travel and live in London, said that while she was “shocked” that she had been attacked for refusing to kiss her girlfriend
She added: “I had a date and we were going back to her place in a cab. I wanted to kiss her and she said, ‘No, we can’t kiss here because the driver is watching.’
“It’s chauvinism and homophobia because it’s as if when you are gay, you are somehow seen as guilty of something. You are not.”
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Ms Geymonat told the Times that she went to the aid of her girlfriend who confronted the gang of male youths who had demanded that the couple kiss for them.
She was not that surprised by the huge public outcry as her friends had phoned her in tears after she sent them the photograph.
They were especially horrified as Ms Geymonat is a Buddhist and would never get into a fight. “I’m feeling really supported,” she said.
She said that she hopes by speaking out about the incident it will start to end the culture of homophobia and of gay women being harassed by men: “It's about stopping women being seen as entertainment. That's something that really makes me angry.”
A phone and a bag were also stolen.
Five teenagers were arrested on suspicion of robbery and aggravated GBH. A police statement said that they had been bailed until next month.