Cute Instagram post featuring gay family faces homophobic backlash
A gay couple have been left stunned after anonymous strangers trolled a photo of their family.
The photo was posted as part of a campaign to spread a message of diversity and acceptance.
The sponsored post shows same-sex parents Jason and Anthony Henderson-Strong with their five-year-old son Marcelino stood between them.
Posted as part of the ‘Love Has No Labels’ campaign by the Ad Council, the image is captioned with one of the campaign’s taglines, ‘Love has no gender’.
“Our family is no less than others,” the couple say.
Despite the post being liked and shared thousands of times, homophobic trolls were quick to attack the adorable trio, labelling them “wrong”, “ugly” and “disgusting”.
“Kids adopted into family’s like this have to grow up confused and people may make fun of those children [sic],” one commenter wrote.
Another posted: “I don’t understand why they didn’t have a daughter that poor boy doesn’t have a chance to choose what he wants to be he’s automatically gonna grow up thinking being with another man is ok [sic].”
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While the negative reaction to the post is sadly of no surprise to the couple, it does highlight a worrying online trend.
Social media is increasingly used as a shield for those who wish to discriminate and abuse the LGBT community and other minorities online – with some victims arguing too little is done to police hate-spewing trolls.
Earlier this year, Stephen Fry quit Instagram after claiming he was “hounded off” the site by hateful users.
By contrast, fellow celebrities are setting an increasingly bad example to their followers by posting homophobic and discriminative messages themselves.
In January, American rapper Snoop Dogg was heavily criticised for mocking an Instagram post about a gay man – which caused thousands of his fans to do the same.
He posted a photo of carer Cortez Booze with the caption “whose auntcle is this?” which prompted a wave of homophobic and transphobic comments from his fans. Some users called him “ugly” and “shemale”.
Similarly, fellow rapper 50 Cent found himself in hot water after using the image sharing site to attack TV show Empire – claiming the show had suffered a ratings dip due to too much “gay stuff”.