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It was not the first time Melania Geymonat She felt attacked and it was not the last, but no attack has been as brutal or has generated as much impact as the one she suffered on May 30, 2019 with Christine Hannigan.
That morning I was on a bus bound for Camden Town, London, when three teenagers harassed and beat them. Video and photos went viral. BBC, CNN and The Guardian followed the trial as a landmark case of violence against LGBT community. Twenty months after the beating, Geymonat returned to Uruguay to work on the foundation of an NGO dedicated to mitigating the impact of the hate crimes and also prepares a documentary.
“Many times what happens is that when you suffer some kind of aggression, nobody legitimizes you. Our case was the exception. It would be beautiful to think that for every incident that happens there is support, and worldwide support, as happened in our case, ”Geymonat told El País.
Melania was born and raised in Soriano, is 30 years old, has a medical doctor from the University of the Republic, she sought out in London as a flight attendant, where she met Chris, just a few days before the attack, and in July of last year settled in Geneva, Switzerland, where he works for the International Committee of the Red Cross.
“Because of the wide scope and impact my story had, hundreds of people came to tell me about their hateful experiences. Seeing the way in which many people opened up to me, I understood that there was a need to speak, to make visible stories, thoughts and emotions that remain hidden. I felt that I could act as a bridge between those people and the resources I have now, ”added Geymonat, who wants the NGO, still unnamed, to register in the coming weeks in Geneva, where it will return at the end of the month, and work in network with civil society organizations in Uruguay.
The objective he seeks together with a multidisciplinary team in training is to make visible and achieve the containment of victims.
In parallel to this project, Geymonat is working on a documentary about “the privileges in society and what factors led to this story, and not others, being viralized”.
For the assault, three adolescents aged 15, 16 and 17 were sentenced by the British Justice.