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Valerie Bustros Jumped + Beaten For (Correctly) Using Women’s Bathroom While A Lesbian

[flv:http://media.queerty.net/bustros.mp4 http://www.queerty.com/wp/docs/2011/04/bustros1.jpg 650 400]

Valerie Bustros, an 24-year-old employee at the Underground Club and Restaurant at York University in Toronto, was attacked by a man (and two others) after going to use the bathroom while hanging out at a pub with co-workers. Bustros, who has brown hair cropped short, was told by the man she was using the wrong facility; she replied that she was indeed a woman, and a lesbian at that. But when she exited the bathroom, the man and his companions were waiting to beat her down.

The 24-year-old — whose curly black hair is short — told police a man told her she was in the wrong facility, then started cursing when she advised him of her female status and sexual orientation. Back in the hall, she was jumped by him and two companions. “We wrestled a little bit out in the hall and there were two other guys there,” Bustros told the Sun in a story published Saturday. “I just felt people hitting me and I remembered getting kicked in the face.” Pub staff rescued her and alerted campus security. Investigators believe the assailants are students.

Bustros, who fought back as they kicked and punched her, said she feels the emotional scars more than the leftover bumps and bruises. The attack has been tagged as a possible hate crime. Police described the wanted trio as brown-skinned and 20 to 30. One weighs about 140 pounds, has black hair and wore a black jacket plus blue jeans. The second is thin, with brown eyes and black hair, and was wearing a black coat and dark jeans. The third weighs about 160 pounds, has brown hair and wore dark jeans.

On Friday police released images of the suspects in hopes of soliciting information about their identities. Says Valerie: “Getting jumped for using the bathroom, yeah it sucks, and hopefully one day we won’t have to get jumped for that.”

By:           Max Simon
On:           Apr 10, 2011
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 44 Comments
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      while I don’t condone the attack, I wonder about the wisdom of declaring her sexual orientation in this particular situation?

      I don’t believe people should hide their sexual orientation, but this just seemed like one of those “I’m confronted by fucking asshats, it might not be wise to toss them a bone and ALSO say I’m gay” moments.

      Does the fact of being a lesbian have any impact whatsoever on whether or not she should be able to use the women’s bathrooms?

      Her attackers were quite obviously in the wrong. Sexual orientation is NOT grounds for an attack. Nothing is, really, but was it really necessary to declare her sexual orientation? To me, it sounds more like provocation on her part.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      It might not have been the wisest thing and may have enraged them even more, but it does explain why she appears masculine.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AdamA
      AdamA

      @MikeE: That we exist in a world where a declaration of sexual orientation could even *possibly* be interpreted as a provocation is certainly not the fault of the victim. Your logic sort of sounds like the “Her skirt was short, and she was asking for it” rape defense.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The sane Francis
      The sane Francis

      Also, it wasn’t solely the fact she was a lesbian that caused this. It was the fact she is more masculine appearing, and obviously, these three thugs were threatened by that and decided to attack her. So if anything, this is a non-gender conforming hate crime. Isn’t it interesting how it was GUYS who attacked her? And not women. What do those guys care about her using the ladies restroom? Or any lady using it?

      Also, I hope no-one turns this racial. These are just, as we see time and time again, insecure thugs who attack senselessly.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @MikeE: I agree that there was no need for her to declare her orientation. In the eyes of bigots, that (obviously) is seen as a challenge and a threat. She could’ve been more cautious about that situation, for her own safety.

      But I certainly will not blame her for it.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yazmov
      Yazmov

      Oh please, she was trying to pass as a man, then acts all surprised when people fall for it. Most people would be shocked and angry if they observed a man entering a ladies room for possible nefarious purposes.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The sane Francis
      The sane Francis

      Honestly, I don’t think her not saying she was a lesbian would have changed matters. It may have made the situation worse, but it wouldn’t have avoided the situation. They beat her because of her gender noncomformity.

      Also, the 3 thugs spit on the bouncer and threw chairs in the bar, so really, this is just another story of animals causing issues and not knowing how to be civilized.

      Lastly, Yazmov, fuck you.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      @AdamA: no, my logic has absolutely NOTHING to do with the “her skirt was short” defense for rape.

      If you actually read what I wrote, I believe that NO motive is an acceptable one for any assault of any kind.

      However, we do not live in a perfect world. We have to share this planet with Republicans and the Phelp clan, and others of the same ilk or worse.

      Which means it seems to me that there are moments in life where caution would be the wiser choice.

      Had I said “her butch haircut” was to blame, then you could have compared my comments to the “short skirt” defense.

      I am only saying that her declaration of lesbianism was nothing short of throwing oil on a fire. You’re faced with violent assholes, what do you do? Walk away. Do whatever you can to defuse the situation. You don’t toss out a gratuitous “oh yeah? well I’m a bulldyke”.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AdamA
      AdamA

      Sorry, guys, not buying in. I’m aware that we don’t live in a perfect world, but we can’t allow this imperfect world to reconstitute something like saying one is a lesbian an inherent act of provocation, or even as gratuitous. We just can’t.

      She didn’t say “Fuck off and die, straight people.” She said, “I’m a lesbian” and got her ass kicked. That we’re anything but 100% behind her is appalling. (And yes, I know, you don’t “blame” her, but I’m hazy on the distinction.)

      This line of thinking (especially when we are so removed from the actual interaction) has plenty to do with the blame-the-victim logic that hovers around rape/assault cases. Haircuts, short skirts, and literal speech are all forms of communication, and none of them in any way diminish victimhood.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tori
      Tori

      @TheRealAdam: Your an idiot.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • zeb
      zeb

      Why are men patroling who goes in to the women’s bathroom?

      I wonder if she would have gotten the same thug reaction if she went into the mensroom?

      Apr 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Palto
      Palto

      I agree with Yazmov and was thinking the same thing when I read the article. The idiots thought they were being valiant by stopping who they thought was a man from entering the ladies room. When they found out she was actually a woman (and Lesbian at that) it overloaded their already small minded inebriated brains.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The sane Francis
      The sane Francis

      They quite possibly were patrolling the restroom to sexually assault girls, sadly. According to the news article there has been a rash of sexual assaults against females at this particular university these thugs go to. I truly doubt people this animalistic were just trying to be “helpful”.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @Tori: Oh, dear. This one is too easy.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @MikeE: I understand perfectly what you mean, as I already expressed previously.

      @AdamA: You appear to be confusing the questioning of her necessity to declare her orientation to aggravated, hostile bigots, to a condemnation of her. No one here is saying she deserved the beating, but there are ways to avoid confrontation and violence when faced with aggression.

      Had they asked her if she was a lesbian, it would have been understandable for her to express such, and therefore your argument here would be valid. But she took it upon herself to mention her orientation, which, given the situation, was not a sensible thing to do.

      The bigger question is why she felt the need to say anything about her sexuality. I don’t recall straight people ever making such declarations out of the blue. Using your sexuality basically as a handshake strikes me as “projecting.” I think it’s pointless. But violence on account of it is always undeserved.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Whether or not she appeared to be a man, whether or not she said she was a lesbian, she didn’t commit any crimes and is not at fault. Law abiding citizens are not to blame for crimes committed against them by criminal thugs.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AdamA
      AdamA

      @TheRealAdam: I simply don’t understand how you feel equipped to make this call:

      “But she took it upon herself to mention her orientation, which, given the situation, was not a sensible thing to do.” Do we have sufficient knowledge of said situation and context to know whether or not it was “sensible”? If it’s not sensible, does lack of a sensible motivation in any merit the assault?

      Or this: “Had they asked her if she was a lesbian, it would have been understandable for her to express such, and therefore your argument here would be valid.” The only understandable context for the declaration that one is a lesbian is being asked?

      Apr 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AdamA
      AdamA

      Edit: in any *way* merit the assault?

      Apr 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jamienoir
      jamienoir

      Just me or does she sort of look like the other, other one from The Black Eyed Peas?

      Apr 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @AdamA: It appears you haven’t been paying attention, so let me be clear about this one more time: whether or not she declared herself a lesbian, in WHATEVER context, is NO grounds for assault, physical or otherwise. Therefore, this question of “merit an assault?” isn’t moot.

      With that being said, unless she was asked directly (or even indirectly) whether or not she was a lesbian, there was absolutely no need to mention it. Given the situation, the way the story presents itself, there was no point in advertising her sexuality. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that a group of (probably drunk) guys giving her shit for walking into a restroom, probably don’t have the best intentions in mind. I’m guessing she was probably aware of that, too.

      Could I be wrong and there was a friendly dynamic between them? Yes, absolutely, but the point is that *it doesn’t matter,* regardless of the situation.

      “The only understandable context for the declaration that one is a lesbian is being asked?”

      No. But IMO it’s the only defensible one.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I hope that Valerie Bustros sues the assailant. She has every right to her appearance. Many men can’t cope with the notion that lesbians don’t all look like the type you see in “straight” porn movies – you know, the type with long flowing hair and lipstick who fake their interest in lesbianism in order to appeal to his grubby fetish.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Keep your damn hands off other people. I just don’t get it. Even if i saw a man coming out of a womans restroom or a woman out of a mans restroom i am not going to beat them up. What the hell is wrong with these ugly hearted homophobes?

      Apr 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      There are some people who have such a fragile state of self identity that the smallest of things contrary to their narrow outlook can trigger them to be violent.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @MikeE: Her attackers were quite obviously in the wrong. Sexual orientation is NOT grounds for an attack. Nothing is, really, but was it really necessary to declare her sexual orientation? To me, it sounds more like provocation on her part.

      Keep in mind that she is quite young. She may have just recently felt so comfortable about herself. Either way, it does not matter her motive for using words in this case. Do you know how many straight people flaunt their ringed finger in front of others as a message to back off? It is the same thing.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      I just hope she’s ok, and that the thugs are caught. It’s not a crime to be butch.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AdamA
      AdamA

      “But IMO it’s the only defensible one.”

      All I needed to know.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • misssanthrope
      misssanthrope

      If you actually read what I wrote, I believe that NO motive is an acceptable one for any assault of any kind.

      However, we do not live in a perfect world. We have to share this planet with Republicans and the Phelp clan, and others of the same ilk or worse.

      Which means it seems to me that there are moments in life where caution would be the wiser choice.

      Had I said “her butch haircut” was to blame, then you could have compared my comments to the “short skirt” defense.

      I am only saying that her declaration of lesbianism was nothing short of throwing oil on a fire. You’re faced with violent assholes, what do you do? Walk away. Do whatever you can to defuse the situation. You don’t toss out a gratuitous “oh yeah? well I’m a bulldyke”.

      Bullshit.

      What about when you say that she “provoked” them. First you say that being gay is no reason for a being, then you say she “provoked” them.

      I’ll really hand it to you, you do a really good job in pretending that you’re not blaming the victim when you actually are. Hell, you may not believe you’re not.

      But you showed your hand if the “provoked”. We know what you mean, no need to give long justifications parsing out your past statements.

      And that’s really sad, that you’re more obsessed with the placing the blame of a person who simply stated she was instead of the people whom…..oh I don’t know…..beat the shit out of for being gay.

      There’s no fucking excuse for what the basher did, all of the attention should be focused ON WHAT THE BASHERS DID. But no, you’re questioning the actions of the victims.

      Do you blame people for jumping out in front of bullets to?

      Apr 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      If she had a gun to defend herself, she wouldn’t care about the feelings and perceptions of gay bashers.

      Does this shirt or haircut make me look too gay? Mr. Gun In My Pocket says No.

      Apr 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shannon
      shannon

      I cannot feel sorry for her and people like this! WHY…..WHY do you ALWAYS…CONSTANTLY….feel the need to tell people you are gay when it was not even needed????? YOU BRING THIS SHIT UPON YOURSELF!! JUST WALK ON….KEEP IT MOVING…IT WAS ABOUT A BATHROOM ….NOT YOUR BEING GAY……SORRY SIS….YOU BROUGHT THIS UPON YOURSELF!!

      Apr 11, 2011 at 12:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tori
      Tori

      @Tori: I actually clicked the wrong button and was talking to the guy below you.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 1:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @shannon: man oh man are you ever in the DARK. If you cannot see the double standard you set up for straight people to continue not being accountable then i only have two words for you. Fuck off.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 2:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @shannon: Since when is it ok for straight guys to bash lesbian women because they just happen to be informed of the fact their are homosexual people among them? You are an idiot.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 2:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @shannon: so shannon thinks that straight guys are not responsible for controlling their violent behavior because a lesbian woman brought on violence upon herself. This woman did not summon ignorant men to attack her Shannon. Get over here. I want to fart in your face.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 2:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @shannon: so stay in that closet stupid sharon because since there are people who hate out of ignorance then you should just not ever live your life by being yourself. IDIOT. You got some nerve sending that thought out. You better apologize.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 2:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @shannon: Maybe she should have just pulled her pants down and showed them her hoochi koochi and big tits so they knew she was an authentic female huh Shannon? Because we wouldn’t want to hurt the feelings of ignorant straight people now would you?

      Apr 11, 2011 at 2:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @shannon: Are there any other litmus tests or dog and pony shows you want gay people to perform so as not to perturb ignorant straight guys shoving their faces into things that are none of their damn business? And then attacking gay people on top of that only to hear you say she called it upon herself. FOOL.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 2:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @shannon: if you ever see matthew shepherds mother, make sure you do a 180 and spare her your dysfunctional bullshit.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 2:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lon
      Lon

      All she had to say is “I am a woman.” The end. She doesn’t need to explain herself to anyone other than the cops. For SOME reason, she felt like she had to.
      This situation could have been handled better, but what’s done is done. Hopefully the attackers get punished to the full extent of the law.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 6:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @Lon: “All she had to say is “I am a woman.” The end. She doesn’t need to explain herself to anyone other than the cops. For SOME reason, she felt like she had to.”

      I’m guessing it was PRIDE. I’m guessing she felt that, faced with the kind of homophobic bullying cunts who would beat her up because she’s gay, hiding who and what she is was not an option for her. The fact that some gay people here seem to think her pride was wrong and even that it was the reason she was beaten up – and that it somehow makes it her fault – is unbelievable.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 6:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The sane Francis
      The sane Francis

      The thugs were looking to beat her up. I don’t know why people think her declaring the fact she was a lesbian would have changed matters. They probably could have assumed she was a lesbian solely with her saying she was female. They didn’t beat her because she’s a lesbian. They beat her because she’s butch. Lastly, she didn’t back down, she stood up for herself and used the restroom, and obviously, the thugs took that as even MORE of an attack against them. They look at a butch lesbian woman who isn’t backing down and isn’t scared of them, and of course they see it as a threat and instigation against them, so they beat her. But that certainly is not her fault. It is the fault of the thugs who would be so insecure to beat this female up because she’s butch, and also the fact they were hanging around the LADIES RESTROOM in the first place is extremely suspect. Let’s not make more out of this than there is, these are criminal minded bigots, and they do things like this.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 8:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @Lefty: It’s quite believable, actually, considering so many people agree and have expressed views to that effect. But I didn’t and will not “fault” her for it.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 10:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @TheRealAdam: I just think straight people “advertise” their sexuality day in day out, by default. To even describe what she did as “advertising” shows a kind of bizarre one-sided thought pattern.
      It’s totally irrelevent that she revealed her sexuality. To even mention it as a relevent point is quite odd.
      She was beaten up because she is gay. End of story.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @Lefty: If it’s totally irrelevant that she revealed her sexuality, then there was no point in mentioning it in the first place, which is the whole point.

      Apr 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tay
      Tay

      @Tori: *You’re

      Apr 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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