Threats spoil youth launch

Melbourne-based comedian Joel Creasey, pictured top centre, with from left, Shannon Bell, Tom Hamblin, Jess Layton, Terry Woodcroft and Emma Warton at an anti-discrimination event.

Homophobic mob mars diversity event

A COLAC mob has hurled homophobic abuse and threatened violence against a visiting comedian as he left an anti-discrimination event.

Melbourne-based comedian Joel Creasey was leaving Colac’s Straight Shooters after a youth event at the weekend to launch anti-discrimination group Dynamic.

Creasey alleged a group of about 10 youths confronted him and three friends outside the venue about 3.45pm Saturday, prompting them to run to their car for safety as the group grew in numbers.

“One of them said ‘do you want to touch me?’ and I said ‘no thanks’ and kept walking,” he said.

“Then we hear ‘faggots’, ‘come here we’re going to bash you’ – there were about 20 of them at this corner.

“How do they think they can treat people like this? They wanted to physically hurt us for who we were, for no other reason.”

The incident has attracted condemnation from event organisers and Colac police, while comedians Catherine Deveny and Felicity Ward have thrown their support behind Creasey on social networking site Twitter.

The comedian was the target of a homophobic comment during his previous visit to Colac in June.

Dynamic invited Creasey to launch its new banner partly because of June’s incident.

“I’m used to it as a comedian but it upsets me that these guys are doing that to these kids in Colac,” Creasey said.

Colac Area Health youth development worker Emma Warton, who helped organise the event, said the incident marred an otherwise successful celebration of diversity.

Ms Warton said 150 to 200 youths were at Dynamic’s launch, two of which were in the group which abused Creasey.

She said security ejected the two youths from the venue before the incident.

“They are in the minority of the young people in Colac,” she said of the mob.

Ms Warton said general feedback for Dynamic was “incredibly positive”.

“They were all really keen to have one of our stickers to display the message and support it,” she said.

Colac police youth resource officer Leading Senior Constable Terry Woodcroft said the incident highlighted Dynamic’s importance.

“It illustrates quite clearly that groups such as Dynamic and the work Emma is doing at Colac Area Health is of value and there needs to be a lot more of it to get that message of anti-discrimination out,” Sen Const Woodcroft said.

“There are certain components of the community that you may never fully reach but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep trying to reach that peer group,” he said.

4 Responses to “Threats spoil youth launch”

  1. Janine Benson

    It upsets me that in this day and age there are young people out there that are Homophobic! I had friends when I was young that felt so threatened that they moved to Melbourne once they left School. These same youths that threatened Joel are probably intolerant of other ethnic groups. I wonder how many of them thought they were just “being Funny” a bit like the stranger danger incident that occur last week! Well that is not fun it’s just plain bullying!

  2. Dean Field

    It’s a shame what a small minority of people can do to a wonderful day organised by an extraordinary group of individuals. The Colac Community will soon realise what its been missing (as well as what it has to offer). DYNAMIC can guide the community in the right direction with education in schools and creating a network of youth and adults where diversity and ‘different’ people are accepted and encouraged. Keep up the great work DYNAMIC, sadly theres a long way to go but remember every voice makes change!

  3. Tanya Taylor

    I attended the event with the YUMCHA group from Warrnambool, it was a wonderful day. The behaviour of some buffoons at the end of the highlights the importance of groups like DYNAMIC and clearly illustrates that more work needs to be done.

  4. Jackie Wallis

    This is an example of how needed this diversity group DYNAMIC is to support people who are discriminated against for being same sex attracted, being from a different cultural backgrounds or are “just a bit different”. The Warrnambool diversity group YUMCHA were guests and had a fantastic time. Everyone involved should be congratulated on a great day and focus on the positives of this project, and not let it be marred by a few idiots who obviously have their own issues. Don’t let the minority bring you down!