Man reports vile ‘homophobic’ abuse after hanging Pride flag from window

Alex Hancock's original rainbow flag

A man has told of the ‘homophobic’ abuse he received from two men after hanging a rainbow flag from his window.

Alex Hancock, 31, lives in Manchester and hung the flag on Monday (August 19) in celebration of Manchester Pride this weekend.

Just hours later he was reportedly harassed outside his house by two men who threatened to kill him.

Hancock told the Manchester Evening News: “These two lads walked past my house. Once they’d got further down the street they started verbally attacking me.

He said he was going to batter me and kill me.

“They were calling me a f*cking b*tty b*y, a c*ck sucker, a p**f, shouting all this really vile abuse.

“I said they should educate themselves and that they should leave this neighbourhood. Then one of them started walking towards me. He said he was going to batter me and kill me.

“His friend told him to leave it and eventually they walked off towards the corner shop.

“I wasn’t going to say anything about it but then I thought why should I have to feel like this? That’s why I stood my ground.”

Manchester Pride

Afterwards Hancock attempted to report the incident to the police but was waiting on hold for around 30 minutes.

Greater Manchester Police urged Alex to call again, with a spokesperson telling Manchester Evening News: “Officers are extremely keen to hear from the victim.”

Hancock noted: “It does make you wonder how many other incidents like this go unreported to the police.”

But his neighbours have given their full support, and reportedly plan to fly rainbow flags throughout the street in solidarity.

“The response has been amazing,” he said. “It just goes to show how much goodwill is out there.”

Rise in LGBT+ hate crimes

The verbal abuse reflects a worrying increase in the rate of hate crimes in England and Wales.

Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes have more than doubled in the past four years, with offences like harassment, assault and stalking, increasing by 144 percent between 2014 and 2018.

Almost half of the hate crimes committed on trans people were violent, with 46 percent being offences like assault and grievous bodily harm. For homophobic hate crimes, 40 percent were violent in 2018.

Taz Edwards-White, of equality and diversity organisation Metro, told The Guardian: “I believe [the tension] is a direct result of people feeling unsafe due to rise of the rightwing political movement.”