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Man faces violent threats after story of homophobic abuse goes viral


The incident was highlighted by Panti Bliss

The incident was highlighted by Panti Bliss

The incident was highlighted by Panti Bliss

A man revealed how he has received threats after his story of receiving homophobic abuse in a convenience store queue went viral.

The man was called a 'faggot' by another customer in a Spar outlet on Dublin's Baggot Street and wrote about the incident on his Facebook page, which was subsequently shared by thousands of people.

A shop-assistant - who is referred to as 'Spar guy' in the post - refused to serve the bully.

The victim spoke to gay community website Outmost about the ordeal.

Colm chose not to reveal his second name because of the torrent of abuse he received once the story went viral thanks to a post yesterday by drag queen Panti Bliss.

"I walked over to Spar to get some wine and cigarettes. I was just wearing shorts and a jumper ... I did look a bit weird," Colm explained.

"A guy and a girl in front of me buying a bottle of wine. The guy turned to the girl and said, 'Look at that faggot in his shorts' and laughed in my face. I just looked away because I didn't want to make a scene, you know?

"The guy who was working at the till said, 'Sorry, I heard what you said, and I'm not going to serve you'."

"The employee said, 'You called him a faggot and that is not acceptable'."

"The guy was asked to leave. The whole thing happened in about eight to 10 seconds. But I was so impressed by the Spar guy and I thanked him and bought my stuff."

The incident was originally highlighted by Panti, who reposted Colm's message on her Facebook page.

She added: "So the story of my friend Colm who was called a 'faggot' in Spar yesterday has gone viral overnight, and while the vast majority of the responses have been lovely and positive, poor Colm has also had to deal with lots of abuse online - from people calling him a liar, to the people who claim it's his own fault for not dressing how they think he should.

"Because apparently the problem isn't that some asshole called him a faggot while he was minding his own business in his local shop, but that some faggots refuse to dress how assholes in shops think they should."

Colm explained to Outmost that he got abuse once he posted about the incident online.

"I have been getting messages from strangers saying that I was 'oversensitive', I 'brought it on myself', that I was 'making the story up'. Some were threatening violence and suggesting that I kill myself," he revealed.

Nightclub promoter Buzz O'Neill, who is a friend of the victim, said that despite some of the negative responses, he's glad Colm went public.

"With the Civil Marriage Equality Referendum coming up it's important to highlight that incidents of homophobia are prevalent in Ireland," Buzz explained.

Spar stood by its employee's actions last night.

"Spar Ireland believes in respect for all people regardless of their gender, nationality, colour, creed, or sexual orientation," a spokesman said.

Irish Independent