Report after the Press conference in Media Center Belgrade
Saturday evening 26-27 of September 2015, after the book-reading public event Dragoslava Barzut, a lesbian writer and feminist activist went the nearest café with three other lesbian friends from the lesbian football team. They were relaxed & singing in the small cafe with live music, filled with around 40 people altogether. Around 1am after midnight one guy came in and started to beat one by one of them systematically, screaming and cursing ‘Lesbians Lesbians!’.
As a writer, Labris activist and a lesbian, I feel morally responsible to public condemn the assault on three of my friends and me. I am thinking now of all friends and parents, who are having a hard time at the moment because of my sexual orientation, but today I choose to love myself.
Three of them were injured in this attack, one tooth broken, eye damaged, one fell down on her head, leg damaged. One was hiding behind the fridge. When they were little back to sense, Dragoslava Barzut called in the police and in the mealtime another men came to beat them up, screaming more words against Lesbians. This one had highly aggressive energy and then the waitress, for whom Dragoslava noted is ‘thin and small’, stood in between the raged man and the lesbians to stop him! She then grabbed the lesbians and locked them in the small WC. That’s how the violence stopped. While they were locked the police came and took the notes and brought two of them to the Urgent center for medical check up.
The hypothesis is that the violent men are part of the violence football fun clubbers “Rad” that were already known for homophobic attacks – because during the evening they sang their songs with the live music. Important fact is that Dragoslava Barzut was leading the Campaign Against Homophobia in Sport, and was on this same place in Belgrade Press Center last year talking about it.
On the press conference the lawyer from YUCOM organisation said they will file a case using the law on hate crime, that was passed in Serbia in 2012, but there is not one verdict using it.
After the press conference today, with small number of media and about twenty activists of lesbian, gay, trans and queer community from Belgrade, some of us lesbians were commenting that this is first so cruel physical attack on lesbians in the public space in this country. Beating lesbians=women in public is not gentlemanlike, usually the violent men beat men. But analyzing the many comments on social media lesbians came to conclusion that the modern criminal men understand that lesbians are not (classic) women (!!) so they beat us more then ever before
! What would Monique Wittig say about it? (“Lesbians are not women “)
At the end of very emotional speech in the Press conference in Belgrade today, Dragoslava Barzut said:
“As a writer, activist of Labris and a Lesbian I think now of all my friends and family members who are suffering because of my sexual orientation, but I choose to love myself today. I feel moral responsibility to condemn the lesbophobic attack on my friends and me.”
The press conference ended in long applause of solidarity from the lesbian gay trans and queer community for the four brave lesbians who had to endure the violence for all of us who could have been on their place, to thank them for their courage, fear and visions that are ours too.