#Handsnothate — how BirminghamLive is standing up against homophobic attacks

BirminghamLive has launched a campaign saying enough is enough — and love is love — after a series of homophobic attacks in the city.

The title is calling on readers to share messages of love on social media using the hashtag #handsnothate after a man was attacked in the city’s Gay Village for holding hands.

It was the latest in a line of shameful attacks on members of Birmingham’s LGBT+ community .

Under our campaign #HandsNotHate, BirminghamLive has asked people to share photographs of themselves holding hands in a message of support.

Graeme Brown, editor of the Birmingham Mail and BirminghamLive, said: “There has been a rising tide of vile crimes carried out against people not because of what they’ve said or done but because of who they are — and we couldn’t keep reporting on it without standing up against it.

“We are pleased to see the police and city council stepping up their efforts — and we are sure there is more that can be done. But Birmingham also has a duty to stand up and say no.

“The extremists cannot be allowed to drown out the views of people in this city — known around the world as a hive of inclusion — it’s time to have our voice heard. And BirminghamLive is saying loudly and clearly this is shameful and unacceptable.”

John-Paul Kesseler became the latest person attacked after a crime wave that has seen a chain of bloodied faces.

He told BirminghamLive members of the LGBT+ community have had to become used to knowing that something as simple and natural as holding hands isn’t so simple for them.

He said: “Holding hands is just a natural thing which people do without thinking.

“Most people don’t have to worry about holding hands in public — but we now do — which is shocking.

“This campaign is a wonderful initiative, highlighting the issue of homophobia and doing something about it.”



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