Homophobic Man Beats Lesbian Unconscious On Brooklyn-Bound Q Train

On Saturday, May 20th, around 7:30 PM, a lesbian couple attempted, like so many do, to take the Q train to Brooklyn. They sat in seats, as you do, and then 27-year-old Antoine Thomas boarded the train and had some feelings about these women and their seats. He yelled anti-gay epithets at them including “Faggot” and “Dyke.” The women pleaded with him to calm down, which inspired him to attack them, beating one of the women, who was 24, into unconsciousness.

She was taken to the Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where she was treated for a concussion, a broken eye socket, and several cuts that required stitches.

Thomas was arrested by a transit cop, and could face charges including assault, menacing, and harassment — as well as hate crime charges, as the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is reportedly also on the case.

He was released without bail from the Brooklyn Criminal Court on Sunday, May 21st.

As of today, this is all the information we have on this attack.

This comes shortly after a different bigotry-fueled attack on a train in Portland, during which three men intervened when a white supremacist was going after two teenage girls; one Black and one a Muslim girl wearing a hijab. Two of the men were killed, and the third was hospitalized.

The Anti-Violence Project has reported on the Brooklyn incident and is encouraging people to take the Bystander Intervention Pledge.

Sources: NewNowNextMetro Weekly

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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29 Comments

          • I think it’s pretty irresponsible to say it’s “safe to assume he’s white.” I understand and agree with the general point about preferential treatment, but the article says nothing of his race and his name is not coded as white (at least not to this Brooklynite). Maybe we can wait until his race is released?

          • It’s not remotely safe to assume that he’s white, given his name and where the crime took place. Please don’t make such assumptions when you have no idea about a particular case, even when your underlying generalization about about disparate racial treatment by cops and the judicial system is true. There are violent anti-LGBT bigots of every race, color, and creed, and sometimes they all benefit from being treated leniently based on the nature of their victims.

          • If he was non-white, particularly Muslim, the press would be all over it. The only time people get away with hate crimes and domestic terror is when they’re white men. When they commit acts of terror it isn’t terror.

            Is it irresponsible? I’m not sure I agree. Premature? Sure. I suppose I’d be more willing to admit it’s irresponsible if such a gamble wasn’t right, more often than not.

          • Then we’ll have to disagree. You must not be very familiar with Brooklyn, or New York City, if you don’t realize that certain names generally signify certain ethnic groups. Furthermore, anti-LGBT hate crimes don’t generally receive that much publicity — especially if the victims survive, as in this case — regardless of the race of the perpetrator.

          • As a New Yorker, I can assure you that you don’t have to be white to get off easy with a hate crime in New York. Anyone who followed the Islan Nettles case knows that.

    • Keeps you up at night? Why? When will people understand that they have to defend themselves? The human right to live is not secured thru prayer and hope. It’s by letting muthafuckas know you will defend your life. By . Any . Means . Necessary .

      • It keeps me up at night because I have to ride the subway multiple times per day and as a masculine presenting queer, I don’t exactly fly under the radar. I have no desire to antagonize some homophobic wild card – you can’t exactly mace somebody on the fucking subway, and hand to hand combat isn’t really my thing either. Had these women escalated the situation unnecessarily they could have very easily gotten themselves killed rather than just injured.

  1. Can the photo of that criminal be published so that lgbtqi people be aware! Please, my daughter was followed from the bus to a train and then threatened by a man in New York and I am deeply disturbed by that.

    • There is no picture of this guy unfortunately. I searched excessively to find him (even paid for a background check) and although I do think I found his address, that’s about the extent of what’s accessible. And there’s always the possibility that I found the wrong person so I wouldn’t feel comfortable posting a photo unless it was independently verified outside of my hunch.

  2. This is yet another appalling example of what happens when right wing reactionary politics gets the opportunity to spread its venom.

    I sincerely hope that all of those who were scared and or injured, manage to recover quickly and that those poor men who lost their lives have not had to do so for nothing. This hideous behaviour needs the full weight of the law and as much social pressure as possible to call it to halt.

  3. Do we know who the victims are? Is there a gofundme or something like that? I would really like to do something, like send money or a card, etc. Also, I’m gonna be marching in the NYC dyke march and attending NYC pride. I really hope this incident gets brought up. As a young lesbian who takes the trains a lot, particularly the Q, this really terrifies and saddens me. We really need to have each other’s backs. I mean, I don’t know how I would react as a bystander in that situation, but whenever I’m out in public, I like to think I’m someone who’s watching out for other lesbians/queers.

  4. As someone who rides the Q train to/from Brooklyn almost every day, often with my wife and children, this is terrifying. I hope he is charged with a hate crime and faces a severe sentence. Also add me to the list of people who would love to see a photo of this man so I can be aware.

  5. This kinda thing scares the shit out of me. My GF and I were on our road trip two weeks ago and made a pit stop in Fresno, CA to get gas and stretch our legs a bit. This man saw me and starting yelling things and began walking in our direction. Unintelligible at first, then I picked it up, “It’s Adam and Eve! Not Eve and Eve! Two women aint right! You’re a woman! Fix that shit!”

    We got into my car and left immediately. Like, I don’t understand how my gender presentation can enrage you so much.

  6. I’m pretty visibly gay, just moved to Brooklyn, and take the Q every day. This is so alarming. I try to keep to myself and not get involved with shenanigans and people yelling on the subway, but if women are targeted just for being gay there’s literally nothing I can do to avoid that.

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