Graham Norton receives outpouring of support from LGBTQ+ community after being hounded off Twitter

Graham Norton. (Getty)

“I stand with Graham Norton” began trending after the presenter was forced off Twitter for suggesting the world listen to trans people.

Norton appeared to quit Twitter on Monday (17 October) after a weekend of abuse over his response to a question on John Cleese, cancel culture, trans rights and JK Rowling.

The presenter aired his thoughts at Cheltenham Literature Festival, saying cancel culture was simply “accountability.”

When the discussion turned to discourse around trans rights, Norton continued: “Talk to trans people, talk to the parents of trans kids, talk to doctors, talk to psychiatrists, to someone who can illuminate this in some way.”

As the clip went viral, JK Rowling took to Twitter to suggest it was evidence of  “a spate of bearded men… [throwing] their support behind rape and death threats to those who dare disagree”.

The subsequent harassment of Norton by anti-trans Twitter users led to the presenter’s account disappearing.

But since then an inspiring trend #IStandWithGrahamNorton has emerged.

Under the hashtag people have been tweeting their support for Norton and his views, including journalist Owen Jones who wrote: “It is trans people who are suffering the horrendous consequences of an anti-trans moral panic stoked by media outlets and politicians who will be damned by history.

“But anti-trans activists have made it clear that they’ll hound other LGBTQ people, too.”

TV writer Sara Gibbs added: “Graham Norton’s comments were *so* mild that I was initially critical, thinking he could have done more and he still got hounded off of twitter – for saying people should listen to trans people on trans issues. 

“He attacked no one. He expressed no view.”

Most of the reaction has been centred around the shock that such a mild and rational suggestion – to listen to experts on the issue – caused such a volatile response. 

“[To bully] a gay man off of Twitter for simply saying ‘talk to trans people, not me’ shows how far these hateful bigots have fallen. 

“They are not pro gay they are far right bigots who peddle hatred & don’t care who they stamp over,” one user wrote.

Another added: “His comments were not controversial in any way. They were very, very non-confrontational. And still he, a gay man, was bullied off Twitter by a straight woman.”