'Get a f***ing hotel room': Anti-gay tirade in downtown Vancouver under investigation
Disturbing video of a man berating a young couple with homophobic slurs in downtown Vancouver has triggered a police investigation – and prompted an outpouring of support for the victims.
The frightening situation unfolded late Saturday night at the Burrard SkyTrain Station, where the same belligerent man allegedly chased Jamie Pine and his boyfriend Regg Acervo from the platform onto the street.
"There's nothing worse than being chased," said Pine. "I remember running up to the bus stop and saying, 'This guy's attacking us, can you please help us?'"
Much of what happened next was recorded and shared on Pine's TikTok and Twitter accounts. The video shows the unidentified man shouting slurs at the couple, tossing a beer can in their direction, and telling them to "get a f***ing hotel room."
Pine maintains his composure through most of the video – a skill developed over years of bullying, he said – and makes a number of attempts to de-escalate the situation.
"This is the person I love," Pine appeals to the stranger. "This is my boyfriend. And we deserve to be able to act normal in public."
"That's not f***ing normal, OK? That's not f***ing normal. Not in my f***ing town," replies the agitated man, who later identifies himself as being from Grande Prairie, Alta.
The incident appears to have started when Pine and Acervo, who were dressed up for a night of clubbing and wearing light makeup, were sitting in adjacent seats on the SkyTrain.
"This drunk guy was standing, leaning forward and just staring at my boyfriend," Pine said. "He just wouldn't stop looking at him."
The man didn't address them until they stepped off the train at Burrard Station. That's when Pine said he began hurling anti-gay slurs, prompting the couple to run away in six-inch boots.
"We ran up the escalator, which was quite difficult," Pine said with a laugh. "It was not ideal sprinting wear."
As upsetting as the incident was, Pine was grateful that a handful of strangers intervened and helped ensure he and his boyfriend were safe. He also thanked the many people who responded to his video with supportive messages.
"It's been so heartwarming to see the amount of love coming from Vancouver," Pine said. "It's the most progressive city I've ever been to – but of course, these people exist."
The Vancouver Police Department reached out to Pine as well, and confirmed to CTV News that an investigation has been launched into what happened.
Authorities could not provide any further details, including whether they are familiar with the man in the video or if he could be connected to any previous incidents.
The Vancouver Pride Society said there has been an increase in hateful rhetoric against the queer community in recent years, and that it’s “as vital as ever” to defend their human rights.
“This was a painful video to watch,” co-executive Allison Dunne said in a statement. “This is why we march, this is why we risk our lives for each other. There is still so much work to be done, and we all deserve better than this.”
Warning: The embedded video contains cursing and homophobic slurs.
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