IslingtonTribune

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Revellers leaving new bar are victims of gay hate attacks

Just weeks after opening, one customer is punched and others face homophobic abuse and threats after leaving Junction Road venue

02 October, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

Jade Phoenix, who opened the Zodiac Bar in July, admits the attacks have been ‘disheartening’

POLICE are investigating two homophobic incidents against customers leaving a new trans and gay bar.

Jade Phoenix, a trans woman who runs the Zodiac Bar in Junction Road, Archway, with her husband, said: “It was really disheartening.

“In any place there are bad people. It happens in the Philippines, it happens in Las Vegas, it happens here. But for me, it is about inviting those people into the community to educate them and getting them to understand what our community is all about.”

She added: “I want to talk to them and say ‘why did you do that?’”

The bar opened in July but in August two men in their mid-20s were threatened by a group of young men who shouted homophobic abuse at them as they left the venue.

And in September a woman was punched in the face by a man after leaving the bar.

The attacker, who is described as white, 6ft tall, with an east European accent, made off in a car. The incident is being investigated by officers as homophobic actual bodily harm.

Ms Phoenix, who moved to the UK from the Philippines eight years ago, and has a black belt in taekwondo, said: “I don’t want violence and I don’t want to get stressed. I have been having nightmares just wondering why people are doing this.

“I want this place to be family-friendly and welcoming, where everyone knows everyone. I think of this place as an orphanage – I just want to welcome everyone in.

“I was an orphan myself in the Philippines. I just want people to feel at home here.”

Detective Inspector Ross Morrell, from the Islington Public Protection Unit, said. “Such abuse and attacks are totally unacceptable and we are working to bring those responsible to account. I would appeal to anyone who has any information about either incident to contact police.”

He added: “I would also ask anyone who is the victim of any hate crime to always tell police. Only by victims telling us about their experience can we hope to tackle these offences, and let me assure victims, you will fully be supported.”

Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 or contact via Twitter @MetCC. Please quote CAD 799/13 SEP

To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org

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