Friday, 11 October 2013
I was born in Kent and Canterbury Hospital and grew up opposite the Sir William Nottidge School on Invicta Road. I spent my summers on Tankerton Slopes and my winters tobogganing alongside the Thanet Way. My brother played for Whitstable Wanderers, my sister danced at the local ballet school and my parents were hugely involved in the town’s community.
Whitstable is my home and where I have always felt safe and loved.
But I was absolutely disgusted to see that a letter was printed in the Whitstable Times from a Mr D Bryson regarding the Stonewall bus campaign.
I was even further dismayed by the newspapers response, claiming free speech. The newspaper chose to give the article the title “Take heed, all you homosexual sinners.” I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of the press, absolutely, but this freedom comes with the responsibility of ensuring that those that use their rights to this freedom to spread hate and bigotry are called out and challenged.
I am not going to argue with the religious quote; there is no point and no need. The Whitstable Times is right, this bigot is entitled to his views, but the Whitstable Times have a responsibility to its readership and to the people of Whitstable to ensure everyone knows that this man does not represent our town.
I came out at the age of sixteen and I received all the love and support I could ever have wanted and for this I am forever grateful to the people of Whitstable who knew me when I was going through this incredibly hard time. I implore you to make your voices heard and to show the rest of the world that this man does not represent your town.