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Drag queen calls out homophobic UK mayor – then he resigns

Drag queen calls out homophobic UK mayor – then he resigns

Drag queen Tess Tickle

Richard Smith, the mayor of Ferryhill, a town in northeast England, is stepping down from his position. He said his decision is due to ‘abuse and intimidation’ after people called on him to resign following offensive Facebook posts.

It all started when local drag queen Tess Tickle brought light to Smith’s posts on her own page.

‘I was in total shock and disbelief that the mayor of Ferryhill was posting such hate against homosexuality, Islam and transgender people,’ she told the BBC.

‘Everybody’s entitled to their own views and beliefs. However, sharing things in a public domain in a position of power… it’s not acceptable. I thought, it needs to be highlighted.’

One highly offensive post depicted a mother and daugher in a restroom with a trans women (drawn to look like an intimdating man with a moustache).

Mayor Richard Smith Facebook post
One of Smith’s posts | Photo: Facebook

Another of his posts called homosexuality a sin.

Tickle first posted about Smith on 23 June.

‘Waking up to messages of people informing me that the New Mayor of Ferryhill my HOME TOWN is sharing homophobic statuses, protest videos of gay pride etc!’ she wrote.

‘Homophobia, Bi-phobia, transphobia is not right!!! How can anyone be put in power with these views? We need to stamp out discrimination and everyone should be EQUAL and Mr Mayor of Ferryhill I will fight for EQUALITY in my little village and I can safely say I’ve never been so ashamed.’

Waking up to messages of people informing me that the New Mayor of Ferryhill my HOME TOWN is sharing homophobic…

Posted by Tess Tickle on Saturday, 23 June 2018

Outrageously twisted

Numerous people, and leaders from neighboring towns, began joining Tickle in her criticism.

Tickle shared many of these acts of solidarity on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/tess.tickle.9/posts/2129489777065650

https://www.facebook.com/tess.tickle.9/posts/2122696784411616

After announcing his resignation, Smith went on the defensive. He said his personal posts were separate from his duties as mayor.

‘Over recent weeks I have been subjected to unprecedented levels of adverse publicity,’ he said in a statement.

‘Whilst the instigators are very much in the minority, as evidenced by the widespread messages of support I have received, I realise that my ability to serve the people of Ferryhill in the manner I would have wished will always be subject to disruption and intimidation.’

He then continued, saying he was ‘denied the opportunity to hold personal views’. He further called it a ‘matter of sincere regret to me that those personal views have been so tragically and outrageously twisted and reported on in order to discredit both myself and my faith’.

Meanwhile, Tickle said it was a ‘step forward’.