Gay Australian MP Alex Greenwich opens up about ‘shocking’ homophobic tweet

Openly gay Australian MP Alex Greenwich, who has received homophobic hate online, wears a suit and tie as he stands in front of a rainbow LGBTQ+ Pride flag

Australian politician Alex Greenwich has revealed that he was in “shock” after he received a homophobic tweet from Sydney MP Mark Latham, saying the hateful message had a “confronting impact” on him. 

Greenwich, who is the only openly gay member of Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state parliament, sued Lathan over a since-deleted homophobic tweet about his sexuality which was posted online in late March. 

Latham, who was once the One Nation’s NSW leader but has since quit the party altogether, deleted the initial tweet, which was made in response to an article in which Greenwich called him “a disgusting human being”. 

The article was about LGBTQ+ protestors being targeted outside an event Latham was speaking at. 

In response, the right-wing politician said, “Disgusting?” and made a graphic and homophobic description of sex acts. 

Reflecting on the hateful tweet, Greenwich told the Sunday Telegraph that he was initially in “shock” when he saw the message from Latham. 

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“When I first saw the tweet I was between meetings and I was literally in shock,” he said. 

“Journos were saying, ‘Alex, this is really bad. This is the worst thing we’ve seen.’ 

“It just progressively dawned on me throughout the day. And it hit me. 

“My first response was I did not want to engage with this at all. I wanted it to go away.”

However, as the day progressed, Alex Greenwich admitted the homophobic message really affected him, and he cried later that night. 

“I couldn’t fall asleep and then I had to get up the next morning because I had agreed to do ABC Breakfast [radio], which was probably the last thing I wanted to do,” Greenwich said, 

His husband, Victor Hoeld, said he’d “never seen him cry like this before”. The pair decided to get out of Sydney, but that didn’t lessen the impact of Latham’s homophobic tweet. 

Openly gay Australian MP Alex Greenwich, who has received homophobic hate online, wears a suit and tie as he stands next to his husband Victor Hoeld
Alex Greenwich’s husband, Victor Hoeld, said he’s ‘never seen him cry’ like he did after getting the homophobic tweet from Latham in March. (Getty)

In court documents, Greenwich described being subjected to “threats, repeated jibes, hatred, homophobic comments and contempt and ridicule” as a result of Latham’s homophobic tweet. 

The independent Sydney MP’s lawyers alleged the homophobic tweet was defamatory as it implied the politician was “not a fit and proper person to be a member of the NSW parliament” because he “engages in disgusting sexual activities”. 

Lathan has refused to apologise, and his legal team is expected to claim in court that his tweet was an “honest opinion” and related to “a matter of public interest”.

Alex Greenwich received “hate mail, hateful and/or threatening messages, and hateful and threatening telephone calls to his electorate office” as a result of the homophobic message, according to court documents. 

The gay politician told the Sunday Telegraph that the influx of hate and bigotry has taken a toll on him. 

“I’ve always focused on policies and achieving legislative reform and stalking community campaigns,” Greenwich said. 

“And then suddenly, I’m put in a position where I’m constantly getting people attacking me based on my sexuality, not on my policy. 

“That has had a really, sort of, confronting impact on me.”

Greenwich has separately launched a legal case against Latham for purportedly painting him as someone who “goes to schools to groom children to become homosexual”

He’s also lodged a complaint of homosexual vilification and sexual harassment against Latham and a police complaint.