Mayoral candiates: Jenny Jones, Brian Paddick, Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone
All of the main candidates to become Mayor of London participated in a forum hosted by LGBT rights group Stonewall. Former police chief, Brain Paddick, told the audience that he'd been bullied as a child for being gay.
"When I was in school I remember being manhandled, about to be thrown into a freezing pool of water fully clothed because I was gay, until a teacher intervened," Brian Paddick told the audience, according to the BBC. "I also remember boys trying to strip me naked and luckily my brother found out and came to rescue me."
Stonewall had recently run a very visible ad campaign on London's iconic red buses: "SOME PEOPLE ARE GAY. GET OVER IT!" The candidates posed happily before the poster as well as holding T-shirts with the message.
Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill commented: ‘It’s really impressive that all of the main mayoral candidates wanted to engage lesbian, gay and bisexual Londoners – something that would have been unthinkable 15 or 20 years ago. What was particularly interesting was that many of the people in the audience were completely undecided about how they were going to vote, so clearly no-one should take London’s 350,000 gay voters for granted.’
A few days earlier, The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, had personally blocked a homophobic advert from appearing on the city's buses.The ad, booked on behalf of the Core Issues Trust and Anglican Mainstream, was a parody of the Stonewall poster above.
Featuring the same colour-scheme and font, the advert was due to say: "Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!"
Good call, Boris!
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