Justice

This Video of a Gay Cyclist's Response to a Homophobic Preacher Has Gone Viral

May 12th 2016

By:
Tricia Tongco

When somebody is preaching bigoted views on the street, most people choose to ignore him.

However, for those who fantasize about confronting them, a Glasgow man has made those dreams a reality.

With just a couple of comments, a cyclist shut down a preacher who was spouting homophobia on a street in Glasgow, Scotland.

Thankfully, bystander Emlyn Pearce recorded the exchange on his phone and uploaded it to Facebook, where the video has gone viral with approximately 92,000 views (as of publication).

Here’s how the encounter went down:

Preacher: The 99 percent need to stand up to one percent who are gay.

Cyclist: I’m gay, I’m gay, say that to me.

Preacher: God still loves you.

Cyclist: I love me – I don’t need a f**king God to do it.

The group of bystanders responded to the pithy comeback with a round of applause, but viewers on Facebook had an even stronger reaction.

In addition to its 92,000 views, the viral video has gotten 200 comments and nearly 1,400 likes.

Here are some of the most liked comments on the Facebook post:

Facebook Comment

Facebook Comment Gay

Facebook Comment Gay

According to an update on the post, the gay cyclist has been identified as Ryan Vance, a writer and designer. Pearce also added his own words of praise for Vance’s actions:

"I walk through Glasgow holding hands with my boyfriend all the time, and we have never experienced any homophobia. So to walk down the main shopping street and hear a man shouting that 'the 99%' need to stand up to the '1%' who are gay was very sad and very scary.

Then Ryan arrived and did that thing that we all like to think we'd do but few of us ever manage: he stood up to hatred and bigotry without any fear or hesitation.

And Ryan is right, we all need to start by loving ourselves, and we don't need anybody else's permission to do that. Ryan Vance, as a gay man and a human being, I salute you: you made the world a better place. Thank you, sir - your pint awaits!" — Emlyn Pearce

Hate crimes against LGB people in Scotland are problem.

In Scotland, one in six LGBT people have been the victim of a hate crime, but two-thirds of victims don’t report it, according to the LGBT organization Stonewall Scotland. Even thought it’s underreported, sexual orientation aggravated crime is the second most common type of hate crime, according to a recent article in the Glasgow Guardian.

LGB Hate Crime Graphic

The U.S. doesn’t fair much better. In 2015, the FBI found that hate crimes based on sexual orientation also made up the second most common type of hate crime (tied with religious hate crimes), making up 18.6 percent of all hate crimes.

This preacher’s words didn’t end in violence, but his words tap into the same anti-LGBT discrimination that is a source of violent hate crimes all over the world.

Watch the full Facebook video here.

[h/t Metro]