At the end of March, I reported on how, under the hashtag #tomyunbornchild, a whole raft of would-be parents were declaring on Twitter that they would happily kill their gay children.
The outrageous tweets were being documented by the @homophobes account.
The tweets drew a lot of attention, and as well as outrage there was a counter-homophobic backlash with many using the hashtag #tomyunbornchild to tweet how they would support their gay children.
Now North Carolinian writer and director Charlotte Moore has produced her own response in the form of a Public Service Announcement, using the original tweets and with the message: ‘Hate speaks for itself. Speak back.’
She writes on Youtube:
In early March, the hashtag “#tomyunbornchild” became a worldwide trend on Twitter. By and large, these tweets were loving, hopeful messages to the next generation — but many people saw it as an opportunity to express hate speech towards LGBT children.
Reading their bile, the only thing I could think was: how would we feel if we heard actual parents saying this to actual children? I got the idea on a Thursday. By Sunday, we — me, my boyfriend, and whatever friends we could find to help us — had it filmed.
It’s easy to dehumanize hate speech online because we’ve gotten so used to seeing it. We tell ourselves that it’s the product of trolls, of random, anonymous strangers. Except they’re not. They’re real people. Many of them will be parents. And some of their children will be gay. But what can we DO about it? I don’t think there are any easy answers.
Whenever you believe life begins, I hope we can all agree: life is essential, and rare, and precious. We can’t stop anyone from having kids. But we can resolve to stop this toxic cycle. We can wish better for our own children. And we can support the kids who weren’t so lucky.
Watch (warning, strong language):
Moore says that she’s been “overwhelmed” by the positive response to the video. She’s been moderating comments on Youtube, and out of hundreds she’s received, she’s only had to decline two.
On Twitter, she asks that viewers continue to share the video in order to “give [the bigots] what they asked for.”
“We can’t stop anyone from having kids,” she wrote. “But we can resolve to stop this toxic cycle. We can wish better for our own children. And we can support the kids who weren’t so lucky.”
Photo credit: Screengrab from Youtube