‘A rude awakening’ – Hitchin couple react to homophobic abuse

PUBLISHED: 17:01 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:38 03 August 2020

George (R) says he and his boyfriend experienced homophobic abuse in Hitchin. Picture:Supplied

George (R) says he and his boyfriend experienced homophobic abuse in Hitchin. Picture:Supplied

Archant

A young LGBQT+ couple from Hitchin have described the homophobic abuse they received in the town earlier this month as a “rude awakening”.

For the last few years, George says he received abuse when he has done drag as Havana Blast. Picture: SuppliedFor the last few years, George says he received abuse when he has done drag as Havana Blast. Picture: Supplied

George Lynham, 19, was walking with his boyfriend through Hitchin’s town centre on Sunday, when the couple say a car approached them and passengers hurled abuse at them.

George says he had homophobic profanities screamed at him, and described the experience as “heartbreaking”. He thinks the abusers were of a similar age to him.

Although he and his boyfriend have had stares or looks when walking in the street, this was his first time experiencing being shouted at in Hitchin.

George said: “Our initial reaction was shock, then I laughed. Because of lockdown isolation, we had kind of forgotten that this was still something that could happen to us.

“I was happy in a sense that it happened to me, because it was a great opportunity to see the strength and endurance that we have when it comes to small minded people.

“But ultimately, it’s heartbreaking. It was a rude awakening that this is still an issue that is happening.

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“I would never pass judgement on someone for their life. I would never inhibit them or make them feel uncomfortable in their own skin.

“Equality is the equal recognition of one human to another regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion and so much more.”

And he has a clear message he would like to share with the people who shouted at him.

“If I could speak to them [the abusers] now, I would tell them they’re not funny or clever.

“You will interact with more people from the LGBQT+ community than you probably realise.

“They can be anyone from the medic that saves your life to the man that delivers your Amazon parcels.

“This world, especially at this time, has no place for people who want to create division in our society.”

This isn’t the first time George has experienced backlash.

Over the last few years, George has been doing drag as Havana Blast – for which he says he has received emails telling him he will be “going to hell”.


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