A queer woman says she narrowly avoided being punched in the head after a man baited her with homophobic and transphobic slurs on Granville St in the early hours of July 4.
Suzy Wedge, who identifies as a trans lesbian, says she was heading home to the Granville Grand Hotel when four men outside a club began “verbally insulting” her.
“They saw me and recognized something,” Wedge says. “They start calling me a homo and a lot of different names.
“I was going more straightforward,” says the Turkish-born Wedge. “I was saying I was a lesbian. I was shouting like hell.
“That moment was like nightmare. Everybody is looking at you, everybody is blaming you as a homo.”
Wedge says the most aggressive of the four was a man who was over 6’ tall, well dressed and “Middle Eastern looking.” She says he called her a homo constantly.
“He didn’t see me as real woman,” Wedge says. “I said, ‘This is my body.’ I said, ‘How do you know how I feel in sex?’”
“But they are stupid, they don’t understand anything, they are not going to understand what I tell them,” Wedge says.
Wedge alleges the man fired a punch at the right side of her head but she evaded it.
Wedge says she was so angry she hit the man in the head with her cell phone.
After her alleged attacker tried to strike that first blow, Wedge says some other guys intervened to hold him back “because there was violence against women at the scene.”
Wedge says she ran into the nearest hotel to call the police.
She says they detained the man and put him in a police van. The police then escorted her back to her hotel.
Vancouver police confirm they responded to a call on the 1100 block of Granville St at 1:40am on July 4.
“There was a verbal altercation there between a female who felt there was some name calling going on, and then she took exception and she punched one of the males in the head,” spokesperson Const Jana McGuinness told Xtra on July 8.
“This male had evidence of an injury on his head from a punch,” McGuinness adds.
McGuinness says the police report indicates there was “some name calling as to sexual orientation.”
Up to 60 people were outside the club when police arrived, McGuinness notes, declining to name the club.
“A couple of these guys were pretty intoxicated in the group,” she says. “One of them was detained for being intoxicated and taken out of the area.”
“After the male was assaulted, the woman left, went to her residence. The male was dealt with for the intoxication side,” McGuinness continues.
But police have made no arrests in the case. They released the man from the drunk tank without recommending charges.
“It was a public assistance type of call. That’s what is in the police report,” McGuinness says, acknowledging to Xtra: “That is opposite to what you’re hearing.”
She says the incident was resolved without criminal charges on either side, but notes it was still referred to the Hate Crime Unit.
“We always want to take the extra step and re-examine the report,” McGuinness says.
Wedge says the police know where she’s staying and took her number but she hasn’t heard back from them since the night of the incident.
She says it shouldn’t matter if her alleged attacker was drunk. “Some people are homophobic or transphobic,” she says.
Repeated calls to the Hate Crime Unit weren’t returned by press time.