Neighbours fly rainbow flags to support man targeted with ‘homophobic’ abuse

Rainbow flags on the street where the Manchester resident suffered 'homophobic abuse.'

The neighbours of a man who suffered “homophobic” abuse for hanging a Pride flag outside his home are hanging their own rainbow flags along the street in solidarity.

Alex Hancock, 31, hung the flag last Monday (August 19) in celebration of Manchester Pride but only hours later he said he was harassed outside his house by two men who threatened to kill him.

Hancock told the Manchester Evening News: “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.”

But now, more than 30 rainbow flags outside homes on Hancock’s street have been hung by his neighbours in a show of solidarity.

He told Metro: “It started with one of my neighbours, Liz, who responded to the original email letting them know what had happened.

“She was acting in solidarity and was putting up a flag anyway and said she would put in an order for some more flags and it just spiralled from there.”

He added: “The community is just very accepting, open and diverse and they wanted to put two fingers up to the haters.”

Alex Hancock's original rainbow flag

Alex Hancock’s original flag in Old Trafford, Manchester. (Manchester Evening News)

The abuse suffered by the Manchester resident reflects an increase in hate crimes in the whole of England and Wales

Hancock told Metro that it meant even more that people outside of the LGBT+ community were supporting him.

“Often it is the LGBT+ community that speak out when something like this happens, but in this case it has been the whole community,” he said.

“It’s been totally led by my neighbours and that’s really touched me. Culturally we have come a long way.

“There is often still a stigma and as long as people don’t speak out that’s what keeps prejudice for future generations.”

The abuse suffered by Hancock in Manchester reflects an increase in hate crimes in the whole of England and Wales and he said “we can’t take it for granted” how far LGBT+ rights have come.

He added: “The visibility of the rainbow flag is really important. There might be someone out there who is not able to be their true selves and I think by seeing the flag out there it may give them that courage.”