In 2021 it will Hate crimes have increased by more than 9% and the violence of the attacks against the LGTBIQ+ community. Nine out of ten fear being a victim of aggression, according to the latest survey by the Ministry of the Interior.
The Spanish Criminal Code classifies as a hate crime actions or violence against people because of their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, among others. and will be considered aggravated in a crime of injuries when it is committed for reasons of discrimination regarding sexual or gender orientation or identity.
There are many who endure this type of attack, most of the cases are silenced out of fear or because they believe that they will not be believed or that it will not do any good to report it. The documentary after samuel presents four people who have suffered LGTBIphobic aggression and have dared to make it visible. Is about Miguel Angel Berraco, Isaac Guijarro, Teresa Parro Y Aaron Lee Verace.
Miguel Angel Berraco
Miguel Ángel Berraco Rodríguez, is from Velada (Toledo). He is 25 years old. He suffered a homophobic aggression during the festivities of his town, in September 2021. The beating was started by a girl shouting “faggot” and “you lose oil”. And then three more boys followed her. Still recovering from some sequels. The vision of the right eye almost lost it.
“He looked at his friends and said: a fucking fagot. Then three friends who were with her started hitting me in the face.“
Insults are a clear indication of a hate crime, but in his case, justice is currently considering it as a minor offense. He can’t understand it. Michelangelo is not the same since then. In fact, since he suffered the aggression, he has hardly left his town. His countrymen from Velada have shown him support. They held a concentration in defense of him, against LGTBIfobia, and more than 600 people attended.
He has a bar in the center of town. And there isn’t a neighbor who hasn’t come to show him his affection after aggression. Miguel Ángel assures that “it is not the same as before, of course not. You go in fear, always looking around. Before you act naturally, you first look to see if you can do it. Going with my boyfriend down the street and shaking his hand, giving him a kiss, is something that is very difficult for me right now”.
Isaac Guijarro is a lawyer. He is from Madrid, but he decided to go to Valencia to work, near the sea. He founded Olympe Abogados with a colleague and one of his fields of work is the rights of the LGTBIQ + collective. What he did not imagine is that he himself was going to be the victim of an LGTBphobic aggression. and although as a lawyer advises what to do if you suffer violence of this typeacknowledges that he was blocked when they chased him down the street insulting him.
“That you are going to throw me off the motorcycle, but what are you doing? And they said: yes, because you have the face of a cocksucker, for a fucking fagot“
“I had my nails painted black and I had an LGBT flag on a bracelet, so when I was riding the motorcycle, my hand was very visible. From a car, the driver and co-driver started calling me a fagot, a cocksucker and so on. At first I couldn’t believe it because nothing like this had ever happened to me. When I told them I was going to call the police, they yelled ‘whatever you call we’re going to make you straight to hell’”.
The judge who instructed the case decided that it was not a hate crime because the attackers did not know him of before. Both the Prosecutor’s Office and he appealed. Now the Audiencia de Valencia has just agreed with them and has decreed that the case will finally be investigated as a possible hate crime.
From the aggression tries to go unnoticed, he’s afraid. He has not always felt the support of justice and institutions. This makes you feel very vulnerable. It is a struggle that wears out and understands that there are many people who do not want to denounce.
“I also felt that what would have happened if It would have been at night, if instead of riding the motorcycle, I had walked, they come to you like flashes of they could have hit you, given a beating, Samuel’s case is there, it’s like a cluster of negative feelings.
Theresa Parro I knew from a young age that I didn’t fit in, that there was something that was not going like in the rest of the people. She made it through adolescence, into adulthood, and continued to see that he didn’t feel right about the roles he’d been assigned.
“Every night, for five or six months, they came to my house to force the door, hit it, they even broke it“
The arrival of the internet for the whole world meant for her, opening a door, a window, discovering herself. There were more people like her! She knew then what was happening to her. Although perhaps, out of fear of society, fear of losing your job, was delaying taking the step. But it was his life and the essence of him. And he couldn’t give her up.
Teresa began to lead a double life. And that, she says, was horrible. There came a time when she said to herself: “I only have one life and I’m going to tell the world.” And she was totally into gender transition. In her family and at work she had no problems but, in his town, there he did suffer a lot.
“A group of boys between 14 and 18 years old from the town where I live, for five or six months every day, pounded, violated the door of my house, the windows. They came to break down the door, I had to put an armored door and turn my house into a bunker. they yelled at me traveloqueer, etc., etc., etc.”.
He feared for his life. She had to leave town. She returned when her forms were already more feminine, she already seemed on the outside as she had always felt on the inside, a woman. And she was left alone, even though she doesn’t stop taking care of her and always looking around her when she comes home.
For Aaron Lee, a violinist of international prestige, it was quite difficult to accept himself and then come out of the closet. He lived in a very religious environment, where homosexuality was seen as a sin and he had to fight against himself until he understood that what was happening to him was something natural.
“They took me to different conversion therapies, to doctors. Also to an island, in order to try to heal myself. At the age of 17 I considered suicide“
He comes from a very progressive family of artists, but when they found out he was gay they took him to different conversion therapies. And they even took him tricked from Madrid to a small island on the other side of the world in order to try to cure him. There, in Korea, where the origin of his family is, he was a prisoner.
“Living family rejection, even reaching physical blows, psychological torture, also fear, seeing yourself cornered, that nobody is on your side, that nobody is going to support you, that they even lock you up on a remote island, without possibility of communicating, without mobile, without passport, without money. At that moment, At 17, I considered suicide”. But luckily, within that hell, he was able to come to the conclusion that he deserved a chance and he survived.
He had to walk that path alone, outside his family. He worked and studied. And he even managed to become part of the National Orchestra of Spain. That lived experience, concentrating on the beauty of music in the midst of so much pain, has made him a unique violinist who knows how to tell stories, not just move his hands and fingers. He has written I am who I am and has taken it to the theater. He has also started a Foundation called “Arte que Alimenta” which gives scholarships and aid to people in vulnerable situations, like the one he suffered for many years.