The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Carl Austin-Behan, has spoken out on being subjected to homophobia while attending a Justin Bieber concert.
Apparently the Lord Mayor, who is the first openly out Mayor of Manchester, had planned too attend the Bieber concert at the Manchester Arena. However, en route to the event, he had the displeasure of running into a pair of women who hurled homophobic abuse, calling him a “dirty faggot”.
The Mayor has said that he has reported the incident to the police, but he also spoke to The Guardian about what happened. Apparently, the abuse began when Carl questioned the homophobic language of the women.
He said: “That’s when the barrage of comments came back [saying] ‘Am I gay? Am I gay? Am I a dirty faggot?’ and all that sort of stuff that started coming out.I was annoyed. I wasn’t shaken up, I was annoyed. Because it was a Justin Bieber concert there was a lot of young people there, and it was a mix of people. I was more annoyed that people could go to a gig like that and feel they could get away with saying things like that.”
“I’m in a privileged position at the moment as the lord mayor and one of the things I’ve stood my ground on is that we need to make sure we report hate crime and get that message across. The fact of highlighting that it’s still out there – however small it is, you still have to report it – because there are still people out there who feel it’s all right to be abusive.”
“I’m quite a strong person, I can take that. But if people are still saying those things about someone’s sexuality, I find that really offensive and hurtful. It’s important that we stand our ground and that we demand the respect we should get. It may seem trivial to some people, a bit of name-calling, but it’s highly offensive.”
The police have also confirmed the incident is being investigated.