A GAY man from Worcester has said it ‘feels dangerous’ to hold his partner's hand in public.

Following the recent wave of homophobic attacks in the UK, people from Worcester have spoken out about how they feel about holding their partner's hand in public.

A man who didn’t want to be named said: “My experience in Worcester is that I hardly ever make public displays of affection with my partner.

“It feels dangerous – even before these recent reports.

“You hear homophobic language all the time in Worcester. People you think are OK will one day suddenly come out with some comment that makes you wonder if they are as gay-friendly as you’d thought.

“If same-sex couples hold hands you immediately get people staring. You never know when this could erupt into violence.

"So, you are on the side of caution, censor yourself. It’s like being back in the 1980’s.

“You only have to look at the homophobic comments on Facebook on articles about Pride in the Worcester News to get to see how there are some really genuinely homophobic people in the city.”

Emily Sale, aged 22, said: “I don’t think the recent attacks have changed my views. I think you learn quickly when you come out what situations you can be more open in as a couple compared to those in which you can’t.”

Miss Sale, from Worcester, added: “I think every gay person has been in a situation where people have been homophobic. Right or wrong, it just seems to go hand in hand with coming out.

“The only thing that would bother me though is if anyone said anything specifically to upset my girlfriend or if they started on her.”

Two men were targeted in a homophobic attack in Liverpool over the weekend, carried out by three teenage boys.

One of the men has suffered serious injuries.

The youths hurled homophobic insults at the men before one of them got out a knife and assaulted the duo, on Saturday.

This followed another homophobic attack on a bus in London two weeks ago. Two women, a couple, were attacked by a group of men for refusing to kiss.

Both women were left covered in blood and were taken to hospital for treatment to facial injuries after the incident in the early hours of May 30.

Have you encountered homophobia in Worcester? Contact reporter Grace Walton.


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