The gay Brazilian couple who were victims of a homophobic verbal attack in Cape Town say the ugly experience won’t affect their love for the city and its people.
Speaking to Mambaonline, Platão Gonçalves Terra Neto, who has been with his husband Rafael Terra for 11 years, expressed his shock at the incident that took place during a photo shoot of the couple on a Camps Bay beach.
A furious man, who remains unidentified, aggressively approached the couple as they were embracing for the photographer. He began shouting at them and accused the two of trying to excite his two children who were sitting nearby, and suggested that the couple were paedophiles.
The hateful incident, which took place on Saturday, just four days after their arrival in Cape Town, could have ruined the couple’s holiday.
“You know, it was terrible. At that moment, we were on the top of a rock, and we were afraid that he could hurt us,” said Neto. “Rafael cried a little bit and I thought our trip was finished at that time. We went to the hotel and we were afraid to suffer that again.”
He explained, ironically, that he and his husband of three years had chosen to visit Cape Town because of its reputation as a gay-friendly tourist hotspot.
“We always choose our destinations based on their reception to gays. And to know Africa was an old dream of ours. We read that Cape Town was a great city to gays, and we decided to come here to enjoy the freedom and beauty of Africa.”
Neto said that he and Terra were now “okay” and had refused to let the incident ruin their holiday. They have since visited Cape Point and Robben Island. “Your city is awesome and we can’t judge all Capetonians based on that man.”
The moment the man approached the couple
When asked if he would still recommend that his friends visit Cape Town, he replied: “Absolutely! It’s a gorgeous city! And all the love we have received from all who heard about this story has kept us feeling fine.”
He praised “the great Table Mountain, and the lovely people,” adding, “In fact, we think it is very similar to Brazil. We feel at home.”
And what would Neto say to the man who verbally attacked them? “You know, we hope he could learn more about respect for other people. Being aggressive is a bad way to live your life. Love is love.”
The couple will be returning home on Friday. If you have any information about the incident and are able to identify the man involved, please contact Shaun Westley on firstname.lastname@example.org.