Seven teenagers were attacked by a group of around a dozen youths as they left Stoke-on-Trent Pride last Saturday (15 June) at around 6.10pm.
The teenagers, all of whom are aged between 14 and 16, were kicked and punched in an incident which Staffordshire police are investigating as a hate crime.
Speaking to StokeonTrentLive, one of the teens, a 14-year-old bisexual girl, said: “We’d had a great time at Pride then all of a sudden this group appeared and started chasing after the taxi. They pulled open the door and start attacking them.
“There were girls screaming at us. They told us to ‘go kill yourselves’ and said we should die. One of them shouted ‘faggots’. I’ve had a few things said to me before but nothing like this. It was mainly girls but there were some boys too. It was right outside the YMCA.”
The girl continued, “I’m part of the LGBT community and this has made me really nervous now. I couldn’t breathe and I was having panic attacks. After it happened I took my Pride flag off and put it in my bag.
“We want to get this out there that homophobia is still a very real problem in a city like Stoke-on-Trent. It’s really shaken us up.”
Another victim of the attack, a 16-year-old girl, said: “We’d just gone through one of the entrances at about 6.10pm. My friends got in the taxi and these people started shouting horrific comments.
“They started running after the taxi and the driver stopped. They then pulled open the passenger doors and repeatedly punched my friend. I saw it all happen, it was horrendous. Another of my friends was trying to get them off the taxi and they were hit too.
“They were calling us ‘gay c***s’ and other horrible names. One of my friends got a fat lip after being hit in the face but luckily he didn’t need to go to hospital.
“The injuries were only minor but the emotional damage was awful. We’re all scared now.”
Picture: Footage obtained by StokeonTrentLive
PIC: <a href="https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/woman">Woman photo created by rawpixel.com - www.freepik.com</a>
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