Post Office icon known only as ‘Courtney’ has spent the past few days eviscerating hateful homophobes on Twitter

As LGBT+ Pride Months closes, a new hero in the form of Post Office comms employee 'Courney' has emerged and she is effortless in fending homophobes off. (Twitter/PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

In life, there are moments where we look to leaders to provide guidance, motivation and inspiration in trying times.

And today, a member of the Post Office’s communications team known only as Courtney is that person.

For the past few days, the British high street stalwart has splashed its logo with the colours of the rainbow.

No, not to show support for National Health Service workers, but to celebrate the LGBT+ community during Pride Month.

Naturally, the Post Office daring to acknowledge the existence of people who aren’t straight white men drew the ire of… straight white men, who decried the LGBT+ “agenda” and queried where “the proud story of the straight family” had got to (spoiler: everywhere).

Post Office staffer ‘Courtney’ does not suffer fools or their Twitter accounts. 

It all sparked when a sudden influx of trolls bombarded a Post Office tweet detailing chief marketing officer Emma Springham’s Pride journey.

For days, the company’s social media team were pelted with abuse by accounts with handles such as Matthew3728502s and James6729257s.

They harangued the Post Office for celebrating LGBT+ rights. Only Courtney, master of the four elements – sarcasm, passive-aggressive emojis, excellent grammar and basic levels of human decency – could stop them. And, boy, did she.

Of course, queer Twitter was quick to flood the Post Office with fan mail addressed to Courtney. 

While many saw the funny side of Courtney’s interactions, a 2020 report revealed that homophobic and transphobic trolling is forcing queer people off social media.

LGBT+ anti-violence charity Galop surveyed 700 queer people from across the UK for its Online Hate Crime Report, which found that eight out of 10 had experienced online abuse. 

Among those targeted, six in 10 were threatened with physical violence and four in 10 had received death threats or threats of sexual violence.

Half of them had experienced the online attacks more than 20 times, and one in five had been the victims of more than 100 incidents.

In response to the online abuse, two in five LGBT+ people used their social media accounts less, and one in five either removed LGBT+ information or deleted their accounts altogether.

Less than one in 10 reported the incidents to the police, and less than half flagged the abuse with social media platforms. More than a quarter did not report the online abuse to anybody.