Written By Ben Kane – Marketing Manager
In less than a month following Birmingham Pride – where we were overwhelmed seeing people of all demographics coming together to celebrate love and support for the LGBTIQ+ pride community – a young man was the victim of a homophobic hate crime in Birmingham.
It’s deeply saddening and concerning that homophobic attacks in the UK are currently on the rise. Vice World News recently published that homophobic hate crimes have risen by 210% in just six years.
All this makes for pretty grim reading, and then we hear of an attack in our beautiful city.
In the early hours of Sunday 10th October, a young man was attacked for holding hands with his male friend.
Holding hands is about as natural as it comes in terms of communication. As babies the only way we knew how to ‘say’ something was by crying or holding the fingers of our parents. There is nothing more pure and wholesome as holding the hand of a loved one.
As a cis-gendered man in a heterosexual relationship, if I feel any sense of danger when out with my partner, I hold her hand, maybe a little tighter than usual. This is a privilege that unfortunately doesn’t extend to many of our friends in the LGBTQI+ community.
In fact, letting go of their partner’s hand is often the immediate response if they feel uncomfortable or in danger. This is absolutely abhorrent and something that should never, under any circumstances, be acceptable.
The news of this attack has deeply affected our whole team at HDY, which is proud to be made up of a wide range of backgrounds. We have a responsibility to speak out against hate, which is why we have launched #HandsAgainstHatred in response to this crime.
As it was hand-holding that prompted this hate-fuelled attack, holding hands is how we plan to speak out against it! We want to make it clear that this isn’t a problem with the LGBTQI+ community, it’s a problem with society as a whole.
Personally, as a straight white male I feel it is time to use my privilege and do some of the heavy lifting. I have no idea what it’s like to have your mere existence met with animosity, and I feel strongly about becoming a better ally by taking action.
Below is one of our own images, feel free to use it, and join our #HandsAgainstHatred campaign if you feel the same.