Earlier this week, as reported by our sister sister LGBTQ Nation, a Spanish gay man reported what appeared to be a horrendous homophobic attack. He said eight masked assailants invaded his Madrid home and sliced the words ‘faggot’ into his buttocks.
He’s now changed his story and has told police the wounding was consensual.
The incident took place on Sunday. The unnamed 20-year-old first said the group followed him into the hallway of his home and began to verbally abuse him. They then slashed his lower lip with a knife and carved the word into his buttocks.
News of the attack shocked the country and led to widespread condemnation. Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, was among those to speak out against hate crime.
Members of the LGBTQ community, following a spate of other attacks including the high-profile homophobic murder of a gay man, Samuel Luiz, two months ago in Galicia, organized rallies against anti-LGBTQ hate.
Yesterday, police and the country’s Interior Ministry announced the man had changed his story.
“The man has changed his statement and has said that the assault was consensual,” a Policía Nacional spokesperson told The Guardian.
Despite this, a large protest went ahead in Madrid last night, protesting against anti-LGBTQ violence. One of the groups involved said that this one incident should not take away from a reported rise in anti-LGBTQ hate crime.
“Over the past few days, there have been attacks in Toledo, in Melilla, in Castellón and in Vitoria. [We will protest because] they killed Samuel for being gay and because those of you reading this have also had to suffer violence, harassment, fear and the danger of death.”
Spain’s equality minister, Irene Montero, tweeted: “Hate crimes against the LGBTI collective rose 43% during the first half of 2021. Let’s not lose sight of the forest because of one tree.”
Los delitos de odio contra el colectivo LGTBI se han incrementado en un 43% en el primer semestre de 2021. Que el árbol no nos impida ver el bosque.
— Irene Montero (@IreneMontero) September 8, 2021
Police say the 20-year-old may now face charges for making false claims.