Two Canadians are in a French hospital after being targeted in an attack that has been described as transphobic and homophobic.
Montrealers Marie-Eve Baron and Claire Giroudeau were in Paris for a two-week vacation with their young girls, one six, the other seven, when they were attacked by two motorists. Speaking to French gay and lesbian website Yagg, the couple said the incident started after a car cut them off in downtown Paris.
Baron, who was driving, honked in surprise. The other car pulled alongside them and the couple inside spat on the Montrealers when they rolled down their window. The two started spouting anti-gay and anti-trans slurs, calling Baron “a man with his balls cut off” and insulting the couple because they are Canadian.
As Baron and Giroudeau’s children watched from the backseat, the man kicked Baron violently in the face. He threw her to the ground, punching her in the face, then rounded on Giroudeau when she tried to intervene. The attackers also rolled down the windows of their car so their pitbull and rottweiler could threaten the couple.
Baron and Giroudeau fled before the police arrived.
“Nobody came to help us!” Baron posted on her Facebook page.
The couple isn’t holding out hope that the police will be much good. “The police tried to blame me by saying that I got out of my vehicle,” Baron said.
The two spent seven hours in hospital but don’t appear to have any lasting injuries.
Baron says that they are deeply shaken by the incident and that it’s destroyed their image of the French capital. “This city is cold and cruel; it lacks humanity and civility,” she writes. “We miss Quebec and we’re proud to be from there.”
Dany Morin, associate NDP LGBT critic, has called the attack a “wake-up call.”
“The fact is, a transgendered person is reported murdered somewhere in the world every three days,” Morin said in a statement.