Labour MP Luke Pollard was sent despicable homophobic abuse for sharing Valentine’s Day photo with boyfriend
Labour MP Luke Pollard is facing homophobic trolling on social media after posting a photo of himself and his boyfriend to mark Valentine’s Day.
Luke Pollard, an openly gay MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, took to social media on Sunday (14 February) to post a selfie with his partner.
He wrote: “Happy Valentine’s Day to my lovely boyfriend! X”
The post attracted dozens of homophobic responses from far-right trolls focussed on an apparent “age gap” between Pollard, 40, and his boyfriend, who appears to be in his mid-to-late 20s.
One comment branded Pollard a “dirty Labour nonce”, while another read: “He looks 12 years old, you should be locked up.”
Thankfully, plenty of people flooded the post with messages of support for Pollard, with many calling out the veiled homophobia and stressing that there’s absolutely nothing odd about a relationship between two consenting adults.
“Age gap” criticism is often targeted at gay men to perpetuate homophobic tropes, with many responses noting that prime minister Boris Johnson, 56, never faces similar abuse over his 32-year-old fiancée Carrie Symonds.
This is a beautiful picture, of a couple clearly in love.
Those who bemoan the perceived 'age gap' here, but don't do so when it comes to the PM and his female partner, are being (whether they realise it or not) homophobic.
They should have a word with themselves.
Love is Love. https://t.co/oHPJUw6pV4
— Cllr Mathew Hulbert – In Village Government. (@HulbertMathew) February 14, 2021
One Twitter user wrote: “The comments under this photo really suggest this country hasn’t progressed much since the ’80s. Gay men shouldn’t have to deal with this.”
Another response quipped: “Love all the straight people replying shocked that not everybody settles down with the first boring person they date”.
One joked: “Replies to this clearly showing that straight men have no idea about skincare”.
There’s a 24 year age difference between the PM and his current girlfriend, but of course everyone is making awful comments about these two because homophobia.
You both look very happy and make a lovely couple 🌈💖 https://t.co/I4QlGmHt5l
— ✨ Dean Tāne ✨ (@Maccadaynu) February 15, 2021
So far, Pollard has risen above responding publicly to any of the abuse.
Labour MP Luke Pollard has been repeatedly targeted by homophobes
It is not the first time the Labour MP has been targeted.
Ahead of the 2019 election, in which Luke Pollard faced a challenge from the notoriously anti-LGBT+ Ann Widdecombe, the candidate’s office was repeatedly vandalised with homophobic graffiti.
“It makes you feel exasperated, really. It’s horrible when you’re being targeted because of who you fall in love with rather than being scrutinised for what’s actually in your policies,” he told PinkNews at the time.
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He was defiant in refusing “to let any bigot make me into a victim”, instead focusing on the countless constituents who have stood against the hate, helping him to clean the graffiti off the windows and bringing cake to his office to show support.
The Labour MP also offered to “sit down with the person who vandalised my office to talk” about their concerns.
He added: “If you’re angry enough to vandalise an office, let’s see if you’re brave enough to sit down and have that conversation.”