Television journalist Mark Reddie usually reports on crime for Australia’s ABC News, but the out journalist recently became the subject of a story, recalling how he and his friends were victims of a hateful attack during the weekend’s Mardi Gras celebrations in Sydney. While walking along Riley Street in the Darlinghurst neighborhood in the early morning hours of Sunday, Reddie said he and his friends were assaulted with eggs by a group of men in a car. The car sped off and allegedly attacked other groups of queer celebrants in the area. The journalist reported the crime to police, who are asking for help from the public in their investigation.
“Walking home with a group of gay guys & a car drives by & the men inside throw cartons of eggs at us,” Reddie tweeted about the incidents before warning his attackers that if their goal was to “rattle” Reddie and his friends, they “did not succeed.”
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade is a hallmark of the Australian LGBTQ+ community, which doubles as a wildly grand celebration of queer pride and their long struggle for acceptance in the nation. The parade normally traverses through the city to the gay Oxford Street district, with tens thousands of people lining the streets and local establishments. Due to the global pandemic, though, this year’s parade was held at the Sydney Cricket Grounds and was a raging success despite the change in venue.
Reddie provided more details about the incident in his article for ABC. He and his “rainbow family” were heading to an afterparty on Oxford Street after celebrating Mardi Gras at the Sydney Cricket Grounds when “a red car screeched to a halt” next to the group and “ambushed” them with eggs, leaving the group covered in a sticky mess.
“We were devastated,” he wrote.
While trained to be a “neutral observer” rather than a part of any story he’s covering, Reddie he felt he had no choice but to share his own story with his followers. The responses received revealed he and his friends weren’t the only victims of the homophobic thugs in a red car that night. The assailants turned out to be poor shots for at least one group of intended victims, though.
Reddie revealed that while he felt sadness the morning after the assault, he later found himself “annoyed the incident had bothered” him at all.
“I’ve got thick skin, I didn’t want to let a car full of idiots drag me down,” he wrote. “But it’s also sad that homophobia remains in Australia.”
One commenter to his tweet succinctly summed up Reddie’s attackers as “sheep, confused or just plain educated.”
Any witnesses to Saturday’s assault or with information about the incident are encouraged to contact police.