Gay Rights Campaigner Stands Up For “Homophobic” Derry
Following the labelling of it as an increasingly homophobic city by the LA Times, David McCartney, a gay rights campaigner working for The Rainbow Project, in the Northern Ireland city has stood up in support of his city.
Fighting back against the claims that it was seeing a worrying increase in attacks, McCartney said that the reporter who had spoken of a “spate of gay bashings” had put a negative slant on what was in fact a positive time for the city which is seeing attitudes towards homosexuality changing for the better.
Speaking to his city’s paper, the Derry Journal about the article and it’s claims McCartney said:
“It is true that there was an unusual spike in attacks around the beginning of the summer, and the only potential link we could think of was that there is an increase in alcohol-related events in the summer. However, I don’t think this is reflective of the underlying trend in the city. Once that isolated spike is removed, statistics show that there has definitely been a downwards trend in homophobic activity here.”
He went on: “The story we told was quite clear – we wanted to get across how much things have improved in our own lifetimes. We wanted to point out the positive comparisons here since I first came out, and the success of the different approaches we have adopted in involving the police and the church in tackling homophobia.”
McCartney also went on to talk about how the article had acted to ignore anything to so with the positive journey of him coming out and the range of tactics to include the police and church in improving the situation saying:
“This man was told true and accurate reflections of people’s experiences, but he has clearly missed the big picture and the change that has taken place. That’s the big story.”
Or alternatively said reporter felt the story would get more attention if spun to give a more negative angle… Well maybe it did in LA, but back in Derry he’s left McCartney having to do some serious damage control work to try and convince all those outside of the gay community who have put so much time into fighting homophobia that they are appreciated and making a difference.
Photo credit: edvvc