News » Crime

'They Brought Popcorn': Gay Couple Attacked by 20 in French Village While Townspeople Watched

Friday July 16, 2021

Mickaël and Benoît
Mickaël and Benoît  (Source:TÊTU.com)

Mickaël and Benoît, a French gay couple, had traveled to Corsica to visit Benoît's family this week and found themselves the targets of a homophobic attack on Thursday, July 15, reports the French-language gay publication TÊTU. They had gone out to a gay club with family members when the assault occurred.

"We were just dancing with my boyfriend, his brother, his wife and his sister ... We have just been attacked in Corsica by 20 people," the couple told TÊTU of the incident that occurred at 2:30 a.m. on July 15.

Mickaël and Benoît were on the dance floor when they began to notice glances from some around them. "A group of young teenagers aged 15 to 20 laugh at us and insult us as queers," Mickaël recalled, who approached one of them. "He shows me a picture of someone pissing on a rainbow flag. I stay very calm and tell him that I am gay myself. At that moment he takes out his cross and tells me that it 'is against nature,'" Mickaël told TÊTU.

Upon leaving the club in the small village of Macinaggio, Mickaël and Benoît again encountered the young man from the dance floor, who then insulted them before things turned physical. "A guy grabs my arm and asks me to leave him alone by calling me a queer. That's when it went peanut," Mickaël testified.

Within minutes, 20 men, according to the testimony of the couple, attacked the two men in front of about 60 villagers who stood passively in front of the scene. "They brought out the popcorn," Benoît lamented to TÊTU.

Benoît recalled having "five potatoes" thrown at him and being stuck "between two cars with 10 guys on me.

"Luckily I didn't pass out, who knows what might have happened ... would I still be in life?" he wondered, thinking of Samuel, a young gay man who died after being beaten up in Spain," TÊTU notes.

The outlet adds: "They are saved by the police, alerted by Benoît's family. And from the ambulance which takes them to the hospital, 'we could hear the villagers shouting 'queers!' as if they were happy to see us go," says Mickaël."

The couple is now unsure about the remainder of their vacation: "I don't know how the rest of our stay will be. It is not the first time that I have been attacked, but that there is such violence from a whole crowd that attacks me, it is particularly shocking."