An Australian transgender couple are seeking humanitarian asylum in Iceland after fleeing “ongoing homophobic violence” in Sydney.
Stephanie McCarthy made national headlines in 2015 when she was viciously bashed at a venue in the inner west Sydney suburb of Newtown. The attack sparked local protests against homophobic and transphobic violence.
McCarthy and her partner Ashley Ihász have since launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to flee Australia, saying that since the attack they’ve been “in fear of their futures after ongoing homophobic violence.”
“Please help two transgender women from Australia, who have been driven to claim humanitarian asylum in Iceland,” the couple wrote on the page, which has been closed after raising $1890.
“We have now formally applied for asylum in Iceland and, with it, the chance to live free of violence, intimidation, the threat of death and various other forms of abuse.”
The couple also alleged on the GoFundMe page that New South Wales Police “continually harassed and threatened them” after the attack.
A NSW Police spokesperson said the force has “zero-tolerance for violence against any member of the LGBTIQ community and rejects any claim to the contrary.”
The couple said they left behind family, friends and pets when they left Australia.
A document the couple posted on the GoFundMe page appears to confirm the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration is assessing the couple’s case.