Since July 2022, attacks and threats with homophobic connotations have multiplied in Toulouse (Haute-Garonne). These acts come just after the homophobic remarks of Minister Caroline Cayeux and in the midst of the monkeypox crisis, of which homosexuals are the first victims.
Several attacks against the homosexual community or with a homophobic connotation have been filed in Toulouse since July 2022. Death threats, physical or verbal attacks, is the LGBT community the victim of an upsurge in homophobic acts? And why ?
Hervé Hirigoyen does not take off. This Saturday, August 6, he received a salvo of around thirty homophobic and anti-Semitic text messages from an unknown person: “We can clearly see that I was targeted, because I am an activist in two associations, HES (Homosexuality and Socialism) and “the forgotten of memory”, which fights for the recognition of the deportation of homosexuals”.
The stranger, totally uninhibited, ended up giving him his identity and his address. It would be an activist of “la Manif pour tous” who would have already been sentenced in 2018 for similar acts. This Saturday, August 6, a dozen LGBT activists from other regions received these same SMS, at the same time as Hervé Hirigoyen.
Each time a complaint was filed. For the time being, no magistrate has taken up the entire case.
Monday, August 9, another Toulousain is the victim of a physical attack with homophobic connotations. He is violently beaten by one of his neighbors. The latter will rejoice by singing on her balcony to have “hit the fag”. The police are called. The woman evokes self-defense. But the man gets away with a black eye and broken glasses. It would seem that the victim, who is neither yet not homosexual, regularly the target of verbal abuse from her neighbors, but this time “They took action” as denounced by the victim’s mother on her Twitter account.
And these are not isolated cases. At the end of July, a homosexual journalist had been the victim of homophobic insults from one of his neighbors. And what about this couple, physically assaulted at the end of June on the Place du Capitole, in the heart of the city, a week before the pride march? Each time a complaint is filed. But justice does not follow up.
“I will go all the way” says Hervé Hirigoyen. “I fight for myself but especially for young people. At 20, when you have no network or experience, receiving this type of message or being attacked can lead to suicide.”
These proposals fall under the law. And all the victims today hope that justice can do its job: “There is a disinhibition of hatred because the rewarded does not enforce the law”, protests the LGBT activist. Social networks are a sounding board for this violence. They are responsible. And we must force them to provide access to justice for these dishonest accounts.”
These acts come shortly after the controversy over the homophobic remarks of the minister responsible for local authorities. Caroline Cayeux had used the term “These people” to talk about homosexuals. Proposals that had shocked the LGBT community, forcing the minister to apologize.
They also intervene in the midst of the monkeypox virus crisis, of which homosexuals are also the first victims, and for which they are calling for a parliamentary inquiry.
“After the AIDS virus, we continue today with monkeypox to spread the idea that homosexuals have diseases, we had addressed Antony Vella, victim of verbal abuse in front of his home, at the end of July. We are first and foremost victims. All of this contributes to the trivialization of homophobia.”
It is difficult today to say whether homophobic violence has transferred in recent weeks to the pink city. But what is certain is that more and more victims are filing complaints so that these acts do not go unpunished.