Manchester’s lord mayor was the victim of homophobic abuse on the night of the last of Justin Bieber’s Arena shows in October.
Carl Austin-Behan – who is openly gay – has described being referred to as a “dirty faggot” and a “dirty gay”. The perpetrators of the hate crime were too young females, thought to be in their late teens.
The young girls turned on Austin-Behan after he overheard their conversation with a ticket tout and questioned them on their offensive language. They were referring to Bieber as a “little faggot”, after being quoted extortionate prices to get in.
Speaking about the incident, the lord mayor has said: “It may seem trivial to some people, a bit of name-calling, but it’s highly offensive”.
He has since tweeted what happened to the Greater Manchester Police Twitter account and reported it as a hate crime.
In talking about his experience, Austin-Behan hopes to encourage more people to report similar incidents.
“We need to make sure we report hate crime and get that message across. The fact of highlighting that it’s still out there – however small it is, you still have to report it – because there are still people out there who feel it’s all right to be abusive”.