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Manchester Evening News’ fantastic response to homophobia is going viral

Josh Jackman August 28, 2017
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(Benjamin Butterworth & Facebook/Manchester Evening News)

It’s easy to ignore haters when you’re a respected media outlet.

And it’s understandable. Engaging with the worst this world has to offer – the homophobes, transphobes and other dregs of humanity – is emotionally and spiritually draining.

So when a news organisation takes it upon itself to hit back at people who are determined to spread their toxic hate, it restores your faith in humanity.

National Trust at Manchester Pride
(Photo by Benjamin Butterworth)

Manchester Evening News simply wanted to post its article about Manchester Pride online. The organisation wrote: “It was a glorious day. Bravo Manchester.

“Check out some of the best pictures from today’s Pride celebrations.”

The headline on its site is “Dancing in the streets, fabulous fancy dress and cheers for the police at Manchester Pride 2017”.

All pretty innocuous about an event which thousands enjoyed, right?

But in posting about the parade at all, the publication faced a hateful backlash which will be all-too-familiar to anyone who writes about LGBT issues.

Instead of turning its back, MEN responded – and boy, did it bring receipts.

The post, which is going viral, told its audience that it was “quite remarkable how many negative comments we have to remove or hide on stories like this.

“To those asking when is ‘straight pride day’ or questioning why we still have Pride we’d ask this: Did you know that homosexuality is punishable by death in 12 countries?

“Celebrating Pride in those places can literally get you killed.”

Manchester Pride
(Photo by Benjamin Butterworth)

It is also illegal to be gay in dozens of countries across the globe.

The hashtag #HeterosexualPrideDay trended top worldwide earlier this year, during Pride Month.

The hashtag was born from the misplaced idea that cisgender, straight (cishet) people are oppressed by other people slowly climbing towards equality.

MEN’s Facebook post continued: “Did you know there’s been a recent rise in homophobic hate crimes?

“Did you know that in Britain homophobic attacks rose by 147% in three months from June last year[?]

“Did you know nearly half of all trans children in this country have attempted suicide? Or that 80 per cent have self-harmed?

Signs at Manchester Pride
(Photo by Benjamin Butterworth)

“Did you know it’s only been 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK? This is why we still have Pride marches.

And Manchester’s is the best in the world.”

We couldn’t possibly comment on the last statement – but MEN’s response is certainly world-class.

And readers thought so too, with one proud parent commenting: “Perfect answer thank you for your support MEN.

“Everyone today looked like they were having so much fun, lovely to see families coming together to celebrate. Happy Pride everyone best wishes a proud Mum”.

University of Salford at Pride
(Photo by Benjamin Butterworth)

Another fan wrote: “To all the goddamn idiots slating gay people, trans people etc, would you slag off someone for their skin colour or choice of religion? I doubt it.

They explained they were bisexual and Catholic, adding: “I’m not going to hell, I’m not condemned by the church and I’ve not been outcast.

“You need to take your heads out of your backwards thinking, hateful, bigoted asses and realise everyone bleeds the same, everyone s***s the same, everyone has felt love, everyone dies in the end, everyone is equal. LOVE IS LOVE.”

Predictably, there were haters too – but let’s not give them any attention.

See MEN’s full response here:

Related topics: clap back, Facebook, haters, Homophobia, Manchester, Manchester Evening News, Manchester Pride, Media, Pride, transphobia, UK

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