1 Girl 5 Gays Panellist Bashed on Yonge St
Max Claude and a friend were beaten up by seven men Saturday morning
Max Claude says he was just walking home from Fly with a friend Saturday morning when a group of seven men shouted “fucking faggots” and broke a glass bottle over the back of his head. The altercation happened around 3am June 11 outside the Panasonic Theatre near Yonge and Charles St.
Max Claude says he continues to have trouble hearing after a man broke a glass bottle over the back of his head Saturday morning.
Claude, a panellist on MTV’s 1 Girl 5 Gays, says he didn’t suffer any cuts but his right ear was swollen and he continues having difficulty hearing from it. Claude has not spoken to police or seen a doctor. He does not know who his attackers are.
“As they’re walking through us they just said ‘fucking faggots,’” Claude says. “I turned around to one of them and I said ‘Are you serious?’ and that’s when I got hit in the head.”
After Claude went down, the attackers took off while and his friend Daniel Bennet took him to the McDonald’s at Charles St to catch his breath. Claude says one of the attackers also tried to snatch his friend’s shoulder bag, but Bennet successfully fought him off.
“They just walked away, didn’t run. They didn’t really care,” Claude says.
Although Claude had no open wounds, he says he was in shock and didn’t think of contacting the police or going to the hospital.
“Everything happened so quickly,” he says. “I just wanted to go home and I started to cry in the middle of McDonald’s. My friend was also in shock and I was just thinking of getting home and being safe.”
News of the attack spread quickly. That same night, Claude says he bumped into his 1 Girl 5 Gays cast mate Jean-Paul Bevilacqua who was the first to spread the word.
The @1Girl5Gays Twitter feed announced that a “cast member was jumped and gay-bashed by 7 men” to its more than 20,000 followers Saturday. Show host Aliya-Jasmine Sovani sent a similar note to her 32,000 followers and wrote a blog post about it that has been retweeted 193 times and liked more than 500 times as of this posting.
“There are people starving, babies’ lives in danger, bomb attacks, dying animals, our eco-system is crumbling, our earth is in pain, so many places to direct our energy and passion as human beings for change - for a better future…and people have time to hate on someone’s right to be happy and in love??!!!! Get. A. Life,” Sovani wrote (ellipsis in text).
Claude says since the attack he’s felt trepidation about being out in public.
“On Saturday I went to the Glee concert and I’m seeing people look at us and I’m thinking “do you have a problem too? Am I too obviously gay?” he says. “I never really thought about it ever before. I’m 6’7. I never thought if anyone’s going to be approached it would be me. [My friends] are thinking if you’re being approached and attacked, what could they do to other people?”
Claude says later that night while he was saying good-bye to friends at Yonge and Wellesley, a man yelled “fucking faggots” at them from a car driving up the street.
“It ‘s another cowardly move,” he says.