I've experienced homophobic abuse in London three times. The first happened when I was 22, and I was caught in a heaving Friday night crowd outside Tottenham Court Road tube station. Across a sea of faces, I made eye contact with a young, white male with a shaven head. He snarled at me: 'fucking poof!'
A 19 year-old gay man was brutally, tortured and murdered in Peru, reveals a report that has surfaced earlier this week... This hate crime has shocked Peru's public, since the charred remains of Molero's body were found with police reporting signs of the young man having been tortured and then dismembered.
Instead of talking about or for Muslim women, our research puts the voices of Muslim women front and centre: to give voice to their silent and overlooked stories of discrimination, bigotry and hate, stories that for many are far too real aspects of their everyday lives. More real that is than the newspaper headlines asking whether to ban or not ban the 'burqa'.
I've never been involved nor had a friend involved with a hate crime before. I didn't know what to expect or how that would feel. I've read stories in the news. I've read about 'The Sophie Lancaster Foundation' online. In fact, I first heard of it because of my friend Mika. On 13 July, Mika went out with one of his best friends - a girl who dresses alternatively and has a lot of tattoos. They were in a chicken shop in Soho when a couple of guys took a disliking to her alternative look. They threatened to stab her because of the way she was dressed, Mika stood in and was beaten so badly, he now has a fracture in his face.
Criminals often target sex workers and other 'hate crime' groups, before moving on to the wider public. Two of the most notorious serial killers Peter Sutcliffe and Gary Leon Ridgway initially murdered sex workers before targeting other women. So if we can get sex workers to report crimes, everyone gains.
Hate crime is not a new concept. Throughout history there are many examples of groups being marginalised, oppressed and discriminated against. Many of the world's conflicts have stemmed from hatred towards particular groups, and genocide is hate crime in its extremist form. Hate crime is most definitely a human rights issue and should be treated as such.