On Feb. 9, 2018, the 2017 winner of the Mr. Gay Belgium contest, Jaimie Deblieck, was attacked. Deblieck was walking in his hometown of Roeselare, when an unknown assailant pushed him to the ground. The attacker stomped and kicked him while shouting “fucking homo.”
Luckily, Deblieck was able to get away, and went to the hospital. He also reported the attack to police. He also posted about his attack on his Facebook. Deblieck wrote, “Attacking me from behind and stomping is one thing. Calling me ‘fucking gay’ after that, you’re gonna regret it. I’m not leaving it here, you coward.”
Mij vanachter aanvallen en stampen geven is 1 ding. Mij erna uitschelden voor ‘fucking homo’ gaat je nog bezuren. Ik laat het hier niet bij, lafaard.
Deblieck also spoke to the Belgian magazine ZiZo about the attack, saying:
A lot of people like me in our country have had to deal with physical violence because of their sexual orientation and they do not yet dare to express themselves. That’s why I decided to tell my story to the media. These incidents have to be reported.
Bram Bierkens, the organizer of Mr. Gay Belgium, also spoke to ZiZo, saying, “Jaimie is disappointed and angry. But he has a strong personality. He has also survived threats and other negative comments after his election. “I do not understand why people do something like that. We are still far from acceptance.”
The finalists for this year’s Mr. Gay Belgium contest are also showing support for Deblieck. They’ve posted an image in support, showing each of the finalists in their official Mr. Gay Belgium t-shirts, with the word “Stop” written on their left hands. The photo is captioned “Stop gay bashing! We support Jaimie!”
Each of the finalists has a connection with Deblieck. He was part of the selection process choosing this year’s competitors for the title.
Featured image via Jaimie Deblieck’s Facebook