'I had a knife to my throat': Eddie McGuinness shares his experience of homophobia

As part of the Call It Out campaign, the Associate Festival Director of Pride talks about his own experience.

Eddie McGuinness speaking to the camera

Eddie McGuinness, the Associate Festival Director of Dublin Pride, shared with the creators of the Call It Out campaign the terrifying attack he suffered because of his sexuality.

Call It Out is a new civil society campaign which aims to shine a light on homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and the corresponding impact on Ireland’s LGBT+ community.

McGuinness described an occurrence in 2002 as he made his way home from a night out: “I was walking home, a guy walked past and said ‘do you want a light’. I said, ‘I don’t smoke’. As I walked up to the next corner, all I recall is a belt to the back of my head and then two other people grabbing me from behind.”

His attackers proceeded to jump on top of his back, saying, “You’re a dirty fucker” and “You queers are going to die”.

“I had a knife to my throat,” said McGuinness, “I felt the back of my trousers being ripped. I turned and I saw the guy was about to rape me.”

With a strength came from nowhere, McGuinness got up and fought back. He then ran out onto the road and fell on to a taxi. “I told the driver these people just tried to queer bash me, they tried to rape me and the taxi man kicked me and told me to get off his car. He drove off and I was lying in the middle of the road.”

Another taxi man pulled up, picked him up and drove him to the garda station. He sat with him throughout. But the guards left him there, not getting help, dismissing the severity of the attack.

Eventually the taxi driver brought him to the hospital, where it turned out McGuinness had concussion, bruised lungs and broken ribs. “It took me a long time to trust the guards again,” he said.

McGuinness described how while marching in the Pride parade each year from then on, the route would always bring him past the corner where the attack happened. This haunted him for years until finally he made his peace. “About 10 years ago, I stood at that corner at 4am and screamed.” With that action, Eddie reclaimed the city and his own piece of mind.

In conjunction with TENI and the Call It Out campaign (#CALLITOUT), GCN tonight will host an evening of conversation in Project Arts Centre exploring the complex and multifaceted nature of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia as experienced by LGBT+ people in today’s Ireland.

Admission is €5/€3 unwaged/Student. There will also be a limited amount of Call It Out merchandise up for grabs for ticket holders including the beautiful Call It Out T-shirts.

Tickets to the event are available here.

For more information, visit www.callitout.ie.

If you would like support on this issue, you can contact the following:
LGBT Ireland Helpline: 1890-929539
Gender Identity Family Support Line: 01-9073707
Gay Switchboard: 01-8721055
Dublin Lesbian Line: 01-8729911

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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