Thank you to our brave families for speaking out
If anything like this has happened to you, or you feel you have experienced homophobic, biphobic or transphobic Hate Crime, please use our reporting page to record it.
If it was a previous experience and you would like to share it, to show others the experience's LGBT parent led families go through please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hate Crime Experiences
In response to your Facebook message myself and my partner have been victims of hate crime from a young girl who was the girlfriend of our next door neighbour. She used threatening words, aggressive behaviour and threatened to damage property with a brick. The seriousness of the event led the CPS to take her to court where we were witnesses along with one independent witness of the event.
The magistrates at Chester Court found her guilty and she received a tag and community sentence. After the ruling she spotted me in our local McDonalds and threatened to punch my face in, which I chose to ignore and did not report it.
I could write an essay on this but will try and keep it brief!
We experienced horrific homophobic abuse from our next door neighbour for 3 years, between 2006 and 2009. We reported it to the Police Hate Crimes Unit and they gave the neighbour a caution but the abuse continued just the same, if not worse. The Police said we could take it further but we decided not to because even if he'd been convicted the consequences were small. (The most he would have received would have been a three week prison sentence after which he'd have been back living next door and even angrier)
The abuse was constant and daily, for example:
- He shouted abuse at me and ....... and the kids whenever we came into the house or left the house.
- He stood outside our window nearly every day at 5am whistling a creepy tune and staring up at our bedroom window.
- He shouted at the kids "who's your Daddy" whenever he saw them and often over and over again from his garden, and got his own kids to join in too.
- I work from home and if he saw me open the door to my back garden he shouted "Who's let the dog out" - he was always waiting and watching for me.
- He stood on his step staring in at our house so we had to put blinds up at all the windows and keep them down.
The consequences were devastating for us:
- We were frightened and upset all the time, and scared to come home. If we went on holiday we dreaded coming home again.
- We could never go into our own garden. We were scared in the end just to put our bin out or open the door.
- We used to scuttle as fast as possible with the kids into the car, hearts pounding, waiting for him to start the abuse.
- We managed to get pregnant with ...... during this time and ...... was upset throughout the pregnancy. When she'd had him she was scared to come home from the hospital and crying a lot.
- ........ and I were arguing all the time as we were so angry and stressed and powerless in this situation.
- Our mental health seriously suffered. I felt one of us would have some kind of mental health breakdown.
In the end we managed to move house. Moving house was stressful because he was shouting abuse as we packed. On the day we moved we asked a friend to coordinate the removals van and then I went back in the middle of the night by myself and packed up the car with our remaining things as quietly as possible because I was so frightened. On the day we moved he found out our new address and drove round on our first night there to intimidate us.
Long term effect:
It has taken several years to be able to relax in our new home. Even now, 5 years later I feel shaky writing about what happened. I feel vulnerable now, and would be very anxious moving house again even though we'd quite like to.
I hope the survey points out the utterly toothless laws in this area. Even the Police were frustrated in the situation. In the end it was not fair that it was us who had to move and he is still there with no punishment whatsoever for driving us out of our home.
Re the kids - luckily ........ was only 4 when we moved and she seems to have forgotten it, although she remembers the neighbour wasn't very nice and played the drums (he used to play a full drum kit in the garden to intimidate us). ......... was only a baby.
I'm sending this email in response to your Facebook message regarding hate crime etc. we've been quite lucky not to experience much but the incidents we have had have been quite serious.
In approx 2011, we lived in a high rise flat. The Carpark was down below out of view where we parked both cars. One day we came down to a smashed window with nothing taken and thought no more of it, reported to the police and fixed, just over a week later the same on the other car same action. Then we both started getting punctures, on my 3rd puncture in a week and my 2nd smashed window, I was waiting for the police to arrive again, there was a gentleman hanging out of the window shouting "it serves you right you f-ing lesbians" then shouting across to other people in the flat how I had smashed windows and flat tires, BUT from there view they couldn't have known. All that we had experienced problems with people refusing to let us in the lift as we were gay and not letting their children play with my lad because of "us" I went to the garage and the mechanic asked me to come and look at my tires, all 4 of my tires had screws drilled into them, he told me there's no way they could be in the tires with it being done on purpose. When the police van turned up to dust for prints again he heard some of the homophobic abuse being shouted out of the window and a can being thrown nearby, but I was told there's no way of proving it was homophobic attack as it was too hard and wouldn't be put down. Thankfully we moved from there and just has "lesbo" scratched in the cars instead.
There's been quite a few times when my sons got into children's arguments and parents have got involved and their instant response is "what do you expect being brought up by a lesbian".
Just before the school holidays my eldest was at school and was in an indecent involving another lad of the same age who shouted at him " your mums just a fat lesbian" unfortunately be took it hard and hit the lad. School are investigating the matter but my lad was in the wrong for hitting him so we don't know the outcome yet. I don't know if any of this counts? We've experienced small petty incidents were we have gone to baby groups and been ostracised and even told they don't think this is the group for us, but we've also been to others that have been very welcoming. We used to be a member of a Catholic Church who was very good with us and allowed us to baptise our son and my eldest to do his communion, but then we moved and joined another catholic church in the area, we made it known to the priest we were there as the sister had requested we did so and he proceeded to make the whole service about the sins of gay marriage! Needless to say we walked out.
Yes - our daughter has already been told at school that it was "yuckie" to have two dads. This took place when she was in Year 1 (she was 5 at the time), and the boy who said this was 5 or 6. Luckily the class teacher overheard the conversation, intervened, and told the boy in no uncertain terms that it wasn't "yuckie" at all to have two dads (it might have helped that she's lesbian and also has a partner and stepchildren). We're not sure if anything else has ever happened, but neither one of our children has mentioned anything else to us. (apparently sometimes children don't tell their parents the things they're told at school to protect parents...)
That was our only negative experience, I think...