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.