Gay MP refuses to give in to homophobia and sexism after suffering ‘unacceptable’ abuse

The official parliamentary portrait of Kate Kate Osborne

A gay Labour MP has vowed never to give in to homophobia after her own constituent was convicted of harassing her.

Susan Dematas, 53, was charged Friday (26 August) at the South Tyneside Magistrates Court with harassment with violence Kate Osborne, who represents Jarrow in Tyne and Wear.

According to Chronicle Live, Dematas tweeted Osborne three times in August 2021 about confronting the trade unionist in social media posts the Crown Prosecution Service were of a “homophobic nature”.

Dematas was released on bail and will be sentenced 16 September.

Osborne welcomed the ruling, one she said is the latest in a long legacy of LGBTQ+ MPs facing discrimination simply for being open about who they are.

“The homophobic abuse I have been subject to has been totally unacceptable and has no place in our local community or society as a whole,” she said in a statement.

“Sadly, these types of instances seem to be taking place more often, with a rising tide of abuse and aggression shown towards MPs being dismissed as just part of the job.”

Osborne said how right-wing tabloid The Sun, she alleged, doorstepped her and took photographs of her walking into court captures how, these days, “any MP is fair game”.

“For an LGBTQ+ woman, the abuse often includes sexist and homophobic attacks,” she continued.

“We must, of course, hold all elected representatives accountable for their actions and I am proud of my record of standing up for workers and for a better fairer society – abuse however is unacceptable.”

It comes only a week after Osborne discovered a series of anonymous flyers stuck to lampPost in the Jarrow area that called her a “militant commie, rug munching fake MP”.

Speaking with the Chronicle Live, Osborne said she feels that even though it is 2022, it’s almost routine three years into her time as an MP to face bigoted abuse.

She went public about the sticker to inspire others to take homophobia seriously, whether it be against themselves or someone else.

“I wanted to highlight how ridiculous that was without making too much light of it,” she told the local news outlet.

“But I also wanted to say I’m not going to let this stuff get to me. It deserves to be treated with contempt.”