Pictures of charity worker's family posted online as part of hate campaign
An acclaimed charity has revealed the horrific levels of abuse which has been throw at it – leaving organisers and volunteers worried about their safety.
Time For Inclusive Education (TIE) has been become the subject of foul, homophobic attacks on social media, especially Twitter.
The “dangerous” abuse includes the publication of picture of a leading member’s young family.
Now organisers say they have taken legal advice in a bid to deal with the abuse – and are calling on supporters to help them by calling it out.
TIE has been a huge success over the past few years, starting off as a campaign promoting the teaching of LGBT-inclusive education.
In 2018, after just three years of existence, it scored a sensational victory when the Scottish Government agreed to take up its demands.
This means that all state schools will now have to teach LGBT+ equality and inclusion as part of the curriculum, including the teaching of LGBT+ terminology and identities, tackling homophobia and prejudice, and the history of the equalities movement.
Among other activities, it produces widely acclaimed material which can be used in schools.
However, this success has come at a price for the campaign, which has also formally become a charity.
It has recently started to attract much more than the base level of abuse that many campaigning charities receive.
Most of these are vile homophobic slurs, which TFN will not be repeating.
In a statement, the group said: “We want to address something, which we have taken legal advice regarding. We have been receiving attacks for months because we are an LGBT charity working with schools.
“We do not receive government funding to do our work. Our 2019 income was £25k. We’re volunteers, driven by a passion to improve the educational experience of LGBT young people. For five years now, we have done this work in our free time: around jobs, families, and other commitments.
“For a number of months, we have been receiving the most hurtful - and dangerous - posts and messages from individuals who appear to be opposed to LGBT themes being included within education. We have never had to deal with anything like this before.
“The posts we receive are not only - we believe - defamatory, but they are rooted in homophobic rhetoric. For obvious reasons they make us worry for our safety. Many charities adopt an educational outreach approach: it is because we’re an LGBT charity we receive these attacks.”
It goes on: “For decades, the LGBT community has been subject to homophobic propaganda which paints us as a threat to children by claiming that we are paedophiles, child abusers, groomers. Until recently, we believed we had moved on from those dark days. Sadly this is not the case online.
“Heartbreakingly, our co-founder had photographs of his child taken and posted across social media with the slogan ‘Say no to the indoctrination and sexualisation of our children’ Why? Because we are an LGBT charity working with schools to tackle prejudice and bullying.
“Most involved in our charity have been subject to personal attacks and similar dangerous smears, specifically the chair of our board. She’s a young mother with a public profile and people have threatened to follow her to public engagements because of what they have read on Twitter.
“It’s not just us. Many LGBT organisations have been receiving this for months; as have national women’s charities, youth organisations, politicians. Lying like this about people or groups on social media is dangerous and can have serious consequences. It needs to stop.
“We are strong people. We know that our work has a positive impact. These attacks are hurtful but they will not deter us. There are generations of LGBT young people who deserve to have a better experience than many of us did. We will not let anyone take that from them.”
TIE’s defiant stance was widely welcomed. Other charities, such as YWCA Scotland, Dad’s Rock and Engender expressed support and solidarity.