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Homophobia in the exit: "Gays can be cured with blows"

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Who are the gay haters who abuse and beat homosexuals in Zurich's nightlife? 20 minutes went on a search.

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Reports of gay couples being beaten up in public have increased in recent months. How dangerous is Zurich's nightlife for gay men? And where does the anger against them come from? 20 Minuten went looking for answers last Friday evening.

We are in front of the Swiss gay club Heaven in Zurich's Niederdorf. Marko * (23) and his colleague Simon * (21) are also celebrating here today. Only a few weeks ago they were beaten up at Platz Central in the middle of Zurich. “We wanted to run away, but by then it was too late - they called us 'fagots' and hit us,” they say. "I had a black eye and bruises from it, Simon had a concussion and broken ribs afterwards," says Marko.

"Mostly boys with a second nationality"

Mobbing and assaults have increased. "It has become part of the everyday life of a gay man that people berate you, trip you or spit on you," says Simon. "Today we gays have to be more afraid than we did a few years ago." The atmosphere in the gay scene is tense - not least since the brutal attack on a gay couple on New Year's Eve.

Who is behind the attacks? “It is often men between 20 and 30 who are out and about in groups and have drunk too much alcohol. Many Swiss are also homophobic, but the perpetrators often came from the Balkans or elsewhere from abroad, "says Marko. He may say that, after all, he himself comes from Serbia.

Ramon (22) from Möhlin AG, who has also often been bullied, agrees: "I am uncomfortable saying that, but: For me, too, it was mostly people who have a second nationality." They asked if he was gay. "Depending on the situation, an insult follows - or a fist." In the meantime he thinks about what kind of outfit he will go out on the street with so as not to attract too much attention.

"Being gay is a defect in the brain"

At 2.30 a.m. we move on and meet Dejan * in the city center. «Being gay is a disease, it's against nature. Something is wrong in my head », says the Serbian-born 18-year-old. But the "disease" is curable. "Gays can be cured with a few blows," says Dejan. It is normal for his colleagues to beat up gays. “If gays kiss in public, they can expect to be beaten. It's your own fault. " But he himself has never struck.

We talk to Ivan * (19) before the next club. He says, “Being gay is a brain defect. You can't cure that. " After all, it is “Adam and Eve” and not “Harald and Peter”. Every real man likes to lick pussies. Hopefully it will always stay that way.

For Roberto *, on the other hand, gays are “completely normal people”. Since gays are hated by a large majority in his environment, he wants to remain anonymous. «Homosexuals should be allowed to lead their lives the way they want to. After all, they are also human beings made of flesh and blood. "

But not only young foreigners have a problem with homosexual people. Martin (21), who was born in Switzerland, also compares being gay with an illness: "It's like AIDS, but simply incurable." He too would hit a homosexual. Why? "If a gay turns me on, it's a provocation."

* Name changed

"Homophobia is widespread throughout society"

Mr Barrile *, according to the gays surveyed, homophobia is a problem for foreigners.

No. My experience shows that homophobia is still very widespread throughout society. There are also perpetrators from the right-wing extremist area. It's not just a migration issue.

Have you been bullied yourself?

That one is insulted or spat on happens again and again. I still experience that today. Twenty years ago I was even physically attacked in Zurich. There were also people there who watched but didn't help. Even today, there is sometimes a lack of moral courage.

What needs to be done to curb homophobia?

It takes preventive measures, for example in schools, and the political will to change something. To date there are no statistics on insults or violence against gays. But I am confident that the Swiss people will vote in favor of the ban on discrimination in the referendum on February 9th.

* Angelo Barrile is a member of the SP National Council and is gay.