Queensland Uni student subjected to homophobic rant
University of Queensland arts student Lucas Bird has reported being subjected to a homophobic rant on campus by fellow students.
The 22-year-old was at the university’s St Lucia campus sitting on a bench reading a book, waiting for family and friends, when he was spotted by a trio of young men who began to regale him with homophobic slurs.
The young men recognised Bird as “the poofter” who’s always holding hands with his boyfriend and unleashed a tirade of abuse.
Bird says despite it being the middle of the day and there being several bystanders, no-one came to his assistance.
“I think that shocked me more than anything," he told the Brisbane Times. "I am probably more upset at the thought of it happening to somebody less capable of handling that sort of approach.
“It was quite explicit. They certainly weren’t being quiet about it, but people walking past didn’t engage. People were looking, they heard it but they didn’t do anything."
Bird says prior to the incident he had thought the university was a safe space, but now realised intolerance existed at UQ. He decided to go to the media about his encounter as he was worried more incidents of homophobic bullying could occur.
“I grew up in the country and am pretty thick skinned, but I hate the thought of it happening to my friends who are a lot smaller, “ he told the Brisbane Times. “I’m a bit over six feet and 90 kilograms. If they are prepared to do that to me I can’t imagine what they would be willing to do to someone less imposing than myself.”
Bird is yet to report the incident to campus security as he said he did not want the trio of homophobes to become the subject of a witch hunt.
“We have to be the bastions of tolerance and civil mindedness. We are not going to change these guys' views by finding them and attacking them.”
Image: Lucas Bird and partner Adrian Dowdle.