Malachi was visiting Scotland this year from Ireland when he was the victim of a homophobic attack. Here he details how the attack affected him, and his experience of reporting it to the police.
“I was visiting a friend of mine who lives in Scotland when we went out on a night out. As we were walking to a nearby pub, a man stopped at a red light rolled down his window and made a comment to my friend. As she responded to him, he then asked her what she was doing with a ‘stupid poofter’ like me.
“This really riled me up and I said to him that he was being homophobic. I should’ve kept a cooler head, but I was really annoyed. He then got out of his car and shoved me, and I fell over. Luckily I wasn’t hurt, but the incident still affects me to this day.
“I went straight back to where I was staying and got really upset. My friend was adamant that we had to phone the police, but I wasn’t convinced that they would do anything, or that I deserved it because I had reacted so angrily.
“She ended up phoning the police, and they were really kind to her on the phone. The next day they sent out to officers to speak to us both, and the investigative process. They explained everything clearly and we both felt at ease and like something would be done, especially considering we were in a busy area that would have had CCTV.
“A few months later I was told that there was insufficient evidence to take forward the complaint, but that they were appreciative of my time. I did feel disappointed with this but reporting to the police and knowing they were aware of the incident helped me to move on with my life. I also received a letter from the Assistant Chief Constable highlighting the investigation and how they had reached their conclusion.
“Now I am back in Ireland I am certainly more aware of homophobic attacks. I certainly didn’t expect it to happen in Scotland, but I am now aware that unfortunately these things can happen anywhere.
“I have since received support to help me move forward, and I would encourage anyone who has been affected by homophobia to report it to the police and seek support should they need it.”