A child’s biggest role model is their parent – and this little girl deserved a better one.
I was so excited to attend Little Mix’s final show of their Glory Days tour in London yesterday – Going it alone I was excited to be shoulder-to-shoulder with LGBTI and young fans alike.
The band is well known for promoting inclusion and diversity in their music, dedicating one of their biggest hits, Secret Love Song, to the LGBTI community, so I expected to be in a safe space.
However, before the band even came to the stage I overheard something that brought tears to my eyes.
A mother, one row behind me, was pointing at another member of the crowd in the opposite block, who was out of earshot, I hope, and mocking them to their child.
She was telling her little girl about the ‘man in a dress over there’, ridiculing the way she looked, dressed and teaching her child how to ‘notice one’, apparently being able to identify them by checking for an Adam’s apple.
I was destroyed.
How could this mother, who I’d heard swear repeatedly in front of her child beforehand, share such destructive slurs with her impressionable daughter at a concert – nay, a celebration – made to make everyone there feel worthy and accepted.
Hopefully, the victim of this mother’s words didn’t hear the abuse being thrown her way – but others did.
Another fan in the row behind her asked the mother to stop, pointing out her child, or anyone else, needn’t hear her need to point out differences in people in the crowd.
The mother retaliated viciously saying ‘it’s people like you that cause the trouble’, referring to the fan stepping in.
Her child begged her to stop shouting and ‘ignore them’.
I was left stunned by what I’d heard transpire behind me and somewhat ashamed by not coming to the defence of the fan brave enough to step in.
But, I was alone and didn’t want to face the potential of my own abuse for the next two hours from an unhinged woman directly behind me.
I felt such sadness for the child, trapped in a situation teaching her being different is wrong – Will cases like this cause homophobia to continue well into the future?
This isn’t the only case of LGBTI people being attacked at a Little Mix concert. Matt Horwood, Head of Media at Terrence Higgins Trust, shared his own personal account on Twitter:
SHARE if you’re not into bigotry
Really fun night at @LittleMix at the @TheO2. Really sad that a parent in the audience called us AIDS ridden bastards and then threw us across the corridor. Hurtful that a child is being raised around that kind of hate. Let’s take a stand.
— Matt Horwood (@matthewhorwood) 26 November 2017
These events prove that changes in ideas can only truly happen at home, with parents who teach their child to love and be open to other communities and cultures.
It is fantastic band’s like Little Mix are bringing these ideas to the minds of children, but ultimately it’s their parents who will execute these lessons and decide the path of their education on these matters.
Unfortunately for some, like the little girl behind me excited to see her favorite girl band perform, she may struggle to see and accept others in the world for what they are, human.
Why? Because her mother is a bigot in need of an education.