28-year-old Lauren Garrison said she was beaten “black and blue” outside The Three Fishes pub in Worthing in a homophobic attack on May 17. Speaking to The Argus about her experience, Garrison said she was harassed by a group of 13 young people during a night out with friends. After confronting the group for calling her homophobic and transphobic slurs, the mother-of-one was beaten with a crowbar, leaving her unconscious.
She was left with a concussion and is fearful she may be left with permanent damage after a blood vessel burst in her eye. Garrison, who said she is cisgender and attracted to men and women, described the incident: “They were being verbally abusive to me and making homophobic comments. They called me a tr***y and said ‘oh look there is another dirty d**e’. They then said they [queer people] should be shot…As soon as I walked out that pub, I was knocked out. They hit me with a crowbar and Hooch bottle – I was hit twice.”
She said the violent attack has deeply affected her: “I am in shock of it all. I am just trying to carry on – that is all you can do.” A spokesperson for the Sussex Police said the incident is being investigated, adding: “Enquiries are underway to trace those responsible, and officers are keen to speak with anyone who may be able to assist with the investigation.”