Gay couple accused of being pedophiles in front of their kids on US train

Courtesy of Robbie Pierce (via Buzzfeed)

Only days ago we reported about the dangers of those on the political right bandying around words like ‘groomer’ and ‘pedophile’ with regards to LGBTQ+ people and right on queue it has affected a couple of gay dads simply trying to travel on a train with their two young kids. 


Editorial director Neal Broverman and his husband, Robbie Pierce, were traveling with their two young kids on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Oakland in California for what was supposed to be a fun family train ride up the California coast.


The two Dad’s were accompanied by their 6-year-old son and 5-year-old foster child when a fellow passenger approached them while the train was stopped at San Jose.

Gay dads Neal Broverman and Robbie Pierce (photo by them from The Advocate)

Robbie Pierce explained: “All of a sudden, there was a man standing there next to me,” and addressed their son saying: “Remember what I told you earlier. They stole you and they’re paedophiles.” I stood up and just was saying, ‘Get away!’” 


The man was very aggressive and said gay people were an abomination and kept yelling, saying they weren’t a family and that gays steal Black and Asian children and rape them. Broverman is white and Pierce Latinx, while their son is Black and foster child is Latinx.


“Family!? That’s not a family!”, the attacker yelled. “You’re rapists. You steal black & Asian kids.”

“My son and my 5yo daughter were both now openly crying, petrified. He yelled right at them”, Pierce said, with the attacker shouting “These guys aren’t natural. Homosexuals are an abomination. They steal and rape kids”


The man had been sitting a few rows behind them and had confronted their son previously when the boy had gone to the toilet on his own. A train conductor Amtrak employee ordered the harasser to leave the train, but he refused so they called the local police who escorted the man off when they arrived nearly an hour later.


Pierce went on to say” “It’s a new level of homophobia out there. We’ve seen the white Karen who’s like, ‘Why did you kidnap this child?” but they had never been called paedophiles before. 


Disappointingly, but perhaps not at all surprisingly, when Pierce then shared the horrific story of what happened to social media, the father-of-two was then met with further abuse from homophobic online trolls who echoed the words of their abuser, forcing him to defend himself further with another Tweet:

“The trolls in the comments saying we deprived our son of a mother have my blood boiling even more than before. His mother DIED, and we were there to hold him and cry with him and help him process his grief and it’s one of the hardest and most important things I’ve ever done. 😡


Following the train incident, the couple obviously filled out a police report but this is EXACTLY what was always going to happen when this sort of hateful rhetoric is repeated over and over again to the masses who are told they need to ‘protect the children’.

It only takes a few who think they should take the law into their hands and we end up with verbal and violent crime.


In a country where the political climate is already so toxic, this is going to get worse before it gets better.