Less than two weeks after a woman and her girlfriend were beaten and robbed on a London bus when they refused to kiss, Halsey appeared on stage wearing a shirt emblazoned with the couple’s image and wrapped herself in a rainbow flag.
The incident made international headlines after a photo of the women appeared online, showing their faces battered from the assault.
“The sad reality is after the Pride parades are over and after the bars close their Pride nights, when the glitter is being swept out of the streets, a lot of people get on those trains, and they get on those buses, and they try to wash the rainbows off their bodies and they peel the stickers off their clothes because when Pride is over, it’s not safe to be gay anymore, because they’re worried that someone is going to viciously assault them or viciously attack them,” she told her fans Monday during a concert in the city. The speech she gave elicited cheers from the crowd.
Police are investigating a May 30 incident in which 28-year-old Melania Geymonat, a flight attendant from Uruguay, was on a date with a woman named Chris. According to a Facebook post from Geymonat, at least four males began harassing them while they were on a bus to Camden Town.
“They started behaving like hooligans, demanding that we kissed so they could enjoy watching, calling us ‘lesbians’ and describing sexual positions,” she wrote.
Though Geymonat recalled attempting to “calm things down” by making jokes ― Chris even pretending to be sick ― the harassment didn’t stop.
“The next thing I know is Chris is in the middle of the bus fighting with them,” she said. “On an impulse, I went over there only to find her face bleeding and three of them beating her up. The next thing I know is I’m being punched.”
A photo of the two shows their faces and clothing covered in blood as they sat on the bus. The assault occurred just two days before the start of Pride Month.
On Sunday, the Metropolitan Police Service announced it had arrested five teenagers in connection with the attack. All five have been released on bail and are set to appear in court in early July.
The singer also took aim at calls for straight pride parades, which she said don’t exist “because if there was one, you wouldn’t have to get on the bus and be terrified of getting fucking beaten or killed afterwards.”
Last week, a heterosexual advocacy group called Super Happy Fun America announced plans to launch a Boston “straight pride parade,” drawing widespread scrutiny on social media and being rebuked by celebrities and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
According to The Independent, Brad Pitt, whom the group named as the event’s mascot, demanded it stop using his name.
Echoing the criticisms, Halsey said that “every fucking day on public transport is a straight pride parade.”
“So we need to take moments like this when all of us are together, we need a moment to remember how lucky we are to have a safe space right now.”