Gay man assaulted for using female toilets

Mpilo Ndlangamandla.
Mpilo Ndlangamandla, 24, says that he was beaten unconscious after using the women’s bathroom at his favourite tavern spot in Daveyton, East Rand of Johannesburg. 

The young LGBT man claims that the bouncers had beaten him so severely that he was hospitalized.

Makeup artist and cleaner, Ndlangamandla told MambaOnline that the assault took place on Saturday night (Aug 3) after he stepped out of the female bathroom.

“I was with a friend of mine who is a girl. I usually ask her to accompany me when I go to the toilet because I am afraid to go alone. But that night I went to the toilet alone because I didn’t want to bother her”.

Ndlangamandla identifies as a feminine gay man, he says that he prefers to use the women’s bathroom “because that’s where I feel safer and girls are more understanding when it comes to my sexuality”.

The bouncer, however, saw him and called him over. 

“He started to make jokes. He asked me why I am in the females’ toilets,” says Ndlangamandla. “He said, ‘you are a male, not a female and I don’t know
why you are wearing [femine clothing] or trying to act as a girl while you know that you are a male. Stop acting sissy too!”

Another bouncer had soon gotten involved and Ndlangamandla’s girlfriends attempted to calm the situation before it escalated. Ndlangamandla describes being pushed by the bouncer and he tried to defend himself with a beer bottle. The bouncer then allegedly attacked him. Ndlangamandla only came
to at the hospital hours later.

Ndlangamandla received an apology from the tavern’s owner, but he has laid charges of assault against his attackers at Etwatwa Police Station. 

“I would like to see them behind bars paying for what they did. I am no longer confident about who I am and what people think of me,“ says the finalist in the
upcoming Miss Daveyton LGBTIQA 2019. 

“It makes me [feel] less of a human being. I feel like what I am is wrong… but this is how I was born”.

“The use of violence is no means a justifiable defence especially considering the extent of the victim’s injuries and the overt trauma it has caused. This dispute could have been resolved differently through conversation,” said UT Well-beings’ Love Not Hate campaign condemning the attack.

“You cannot assert your dignity if you are in constant fear for your life or safety. A definite need for sensitisation is apparent in places that are deemed hetero-normative so that employees are made aware of the threats that queer bodies often experience”.
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