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'I was attacked because I was in drag'

Ben Lyons had been performing before the attack that left him requiring hospital treatment.

By STV News

Published 12 Apr 2019.

A man dressed as a woman was injured in an early morning attack by two men on an Edinburgh street.

Ben Lyons, who performs in drag as Mistress Sinistra Lovecraft and was performing at Opium on the Cowgate Monday night, suffered facial injuries. He suspects his attackers were motivated by homophobia - something the police are investigating.

Speaking to STV News the 40-year-old said: "I had been out with friends at a karaoke night and I had been in drag.

"I walked one of my friends to the bus stop then walked across to my bus stop and there were people there, they said something and then next thing I can remember I was being bundled in to the back of an ambulance."

Lyons was taken to the Royal Infirmary.

He said: "I do think I was attacked because I was in drag, I can't remember what they said to me but witnesses say they heard homophobic comments.

"I think in Scotland we are generally an open and accepting country, but there is still an undercurrent of people who feel it is acceptable to use derogatory slurs.

"I doubt there is anyone in the LGBTQ community who hasn't been subjected to homophobic abuse while out in public and there is a lot of derogatory slurs that get thrown at you."

A spokesman for the force said: "We are investigating a report of a serious assault that happened on South Bridge at around 3.20am on Tuesday.

"Two men approached a person and subsequently verbally and physically assaulted them, leaving them with a serious facial injury that required hospital treatment."

Interview by Ryan Maher.

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