Crime

Man arrested after murals in Manchester’s gay village defaced with vile homophobic graffiti

Maggie Baska July 10, 2021
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mural in Manchester gay village were defaced with homophobic graffiti

Two murals in Manchester's gay village were defaced with homophobic graffiti. (Twitter/ macinnes_neil)

An unnamed man has been arrested on suspicion of defacing two LGBT+ murals in Manchester’s gay village with vile homophobic graffiti.

The BBC reported that an unnamed 60-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of defacing several LGBT+ murals located near Manchester’s iconic Canal Street in the gay village. Greater Manchester Police said the man was arrested on suspicion of homophobic and transphobic aggravated criminal damage.

But the man was later bailed out, pending further investigation.

A mural of gay World War II codebreaker and hero Alan Turing and local drag queen Foo Foo Lammar were defaced during Pride month. Another mural of Drag Race UK star Divina de Campo was also targeted by homophobic graffiti.

The vandals spray-painted the words “dirty bastars [sic]” and the number “666” on the artwork.

Chief inspector Adam Wignall said the police force takes “crime of this nature very seriously”. He told the BBC: “People should be able to go about their daily lives free from hate and abuse, and this type of behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated in our communities.

“This [is] believed to be an isolated incident to the community.”

Salford Pride said the area is a “haven for a lot of the Greater Manchester LGBT+ community”. It added that the “vandalism is great cause for concern”.

Divina de Campo also shared their frustration and disappointment at the homophobic graffiti. The Drag Race UK star visited the vandalised murals during an Instagram Live session.

“People are still now going, ‘Oh, why do you need Pride?'” de Campo said. “It’s stuff like this – this is the reason we have Pride because there’s still a lot of homophobia out there.”

They described Manchester as a “really inclusive, amazing, brilliant, brilliant place to live as an LGBTQ+ person”, but they admitted they didn’t expect the “council would even talk” about the vandalism.

“But they are, so… that’s really positive, and people’s reactions to it have been really positive as well,” de Campo said.

The BBC said Manchester artists Nomad Clan – composed of Hayley Garner and Jay Gilleard – created one of the LGBT+ murals on the side of The Molly House Pub eight years ago. This mural depicted Turing, writer Quentin Crisp and activist Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Nomad Clan have already repainted the mural to restore it to its former glory and remove the horrific words, according to the BBC.

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