Dutch man with rainbow-colored debit card beaten up in India

Man holding a Bunq card
Man holding a Bunq cardPhoto: Bunq

A 29-year-old Dutch man was assaulted in India after he paid with his rainbow-colored Bunq card, the bank confirmed on Twitter and Travel Assist, the company that provided the man's travel insurance, confirmed to NOS.

According to Travel Assist, the Dutch traveler was attacked by a group of men who thought he was gay after he paid his bill in a cafe in Lucknow in northern India. They likely associated the rainbow colors on his bank card with the rainbow flag that is used as a symbol in the LGBTQ community. Around eight men started making homophobic remarks and then attacked him. "They shouted 'gay' and said other things that were derogatory. Bystanders told him that afterwards", a Travel Assist spokesperson said to NOS.

The Dutch man suffered serious bruises in his face and head, among other things. He was admitted to the hospital, where he stayed overnight for observation. 

The rainbow colors on the Bunq card are arranged differently than on the rainbow flag and the color purple is missing. In a statement released by Bunq, CEO Ali Niknam said that the bright colors "represent the happiness and joy all people of the world associate with seeing the rainbow." He called the attack "deeply disturbing". "Needles to say, we are shocked and outraged. We immediately reached out to see what we can do to help our user."

Bunq has received some suggestions to change the design of the Bunq cards to make them "less gay", Niknam said. "As if being gay would somehow be a bad thing." These suggestions were rejected. "We are sharing this message to take a stance", the CEO said. "Rather than calling for outrage and anger, we would like to call on everyone to embrace each other. Black, white, yellow, purple, gay, hetero bi: in the end we are all human."