‘No’ voter allegedly attacked trans teen
A TRANSGENDER teen has allegedly been assaulted on a Melbourne train by a man wearing a 'Vote No' badge.
13-year-old Sebastian Taylor was on his way home from school on Wednesday afternoon when he says an older man started harassing him.
"I noticed [the man] straight away because he had this huge 'vote no' badge," he told the Star Observer.
"I was just minding my own business."
The man allegedly became aggressive, yelling at Taylor and throwing a water bottle at him.
"I ignored him, and when I got off the train … he looked me straight in the eye and went 'oink oink' at me," he said.
"I felt like he was trying to rile me up and belittle me. I didn't feel afraid but I did feel uncomfortable."
Sebastian thinks he might have been targeted by this man because he is transgender.
"I feel like I don't 'pass' well … I don't look particularly like a male," he said.
He was able to get a photo of his aggressor and his mother Anna helped him report the incident to the police and railway staff.
Anna said Sebastian was distressed when she went to pick him up after hearing about what happened.
"My older daughter called me and said Seb had rung, very upset, and needed to be picked up from the railway station," she said.
"When I got there he was in tears."
They reported the alleged assault and she said both the train staff and the police were extremely helpful and understanding throughout the process.
Sebastian's mother said up until this incident he had never encountered such violence.
She says that her son's school has always been supportive of Sebastian and he lives in a "safe and boring" neighbourhood.
Anna believes that the campaign against marriage equality is responsible for inciting increased violence against members of the LGBTIQ community.
"The no campaign has been played out over the bodies of trans children. They've chosen a particular vulnerable population and targeted it," she said.
She was also upset that no one else on the train did anything to stop a child from being harassed.
"He's someone who's very obviously a school kid," she said.
"He had his school sports shirt on. There's no way this person did not know that this was a child."
Police are investigating the incident, which allegedly occurred on Melbourne's Lilydale line between 3.30pm and 4pm.
Police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online.